ecorpStim has poked their heads up again to try and catch a bit of attention for their innovative waterless fracking solution. A press release issued yesterday by the company (full copy below) touts a new short video about their technology and promises that their “non-flammable propane stimulation” solution, developed in “2013,” will roll out in field demonstrations by “the end of this year.” We gave the video a watch a liked it (see it below).
MDN has had our eye on eCORP, ecorpStim’s parent company, since 2012 when they attempted but ultimately failed to cut a deal with landowners in Tioga County, NY to lease a large swath of land and potentially use a waterless fracking technology (from Canadian GASFRAC) to avoid New York’s ongoing moratorium (see Tioga County, NY Lease Deal with eCORP Falls Apart). It was after the wheels came off that deal that ecorpStim changed gears to develop their own waterless fracking solution.
Last night MDN editor Jim Willis attended a “You Defend It” debate at Binghamton University between pro-driller John Holko, president of Lanape Resources (Buffalo area), and anti-driller Sandra Steingraber, a so-called “scholar in residence” at Ithaca College and founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking. The debate was on the topic of whether or not New York should allow high volume hydraulic fracturing (shale fracking). The format was interesting and refreshing–NO audience participation allowed. No cat calls or clapping or hooting characteristic of hippie anti-drillers was allowed. Also, the debaters were not allowed to question each other or respond to the other’s arguments. It was the moderator (Binghamton attorney Rob Kilmer) asking them questions in turn–and that’s it. The audience, which MDN would estimate at 250-300 people, heard the best pro and con arguments from both sides. Refreshing. And, enlightening.
If we could step back and make an observation about the poise and demeanor of the debaters, John Holko was relaxed and worked from no notes. Sandra Steingraber, whom we have perhaps uncharitably called nutty, was nuttier than ever. She looked tense and had many notes and every response to a question started and ended with how fracking leads to an environmental holocaust that’s killing Mother Earth. When grilled by Kilmer as to why fracking doesn’t seem to be creating widespread damage in Pennsylvania the way she portrays it would in New York, she responded (amazingly) it really is. Steingraber maintains “everyone” is hushed up by legal gag orders in PA that don’t allow residents to tell the truth of what’s happening. So you see, she was simply off the rails–yet again…
Doug “the ax” Lawler, CEO of Chesapeake, continues to swing his ax to get rid of assets the company worked so hard to create. The latest asset Lawler (and his boss corporate raider Carl Icahn) want the company to get rid of is Chesapeake Oilfield Services, or COS. Chessy issued a press release yesterday stating they want to either spin COS off into it’s own company, or sell it outright. Not in the cards: keeping it and expanding it.
Here’s the latest from “the ax”…
Magnum Hunter (MH) issued their fourth quarter 2013 and full year 2013 financial and operational update yesterday. Below we’ve selected out the operations portion leaving the financial discussion behind. What does it show? MH sold off their Eagle Ford assets in 2013 for $401 and has invested that money in the two remaining regions in which the focus–the Marcellus/Utica and the Bakken Shale (or Williston Basin). MH is currently operating 6 drilling rigs–3 in the Marcellus/Utica and 3 in the Bakken. They drilled 8 new wells in the northeast in 4Q13 and 15 new wells in the Bakken (so you see where their attention is going–to the more oily play).
Of interest, buried in the narrative, is mention of the recent Stadler 3UH Utica Shale well recently brought online in Monroe County with a peak rate of 32.5 MMcf/d (see Magnum Hunter’s Prolific (& Dry) Utica Well in Monroe County, OH). Here’s the interesting part: MH is also right now completing the Stalder 2MH well on the same pad–except the 2MH is a Marcellus (not Utica) well. So MH is targeting two different formations on the same pad. It will be fascinating to compare the production from the two wells. Here’s select portions of yesterday’s update:
It’s been a loooong road in Maryland, evaluating whether or not they should, and if so how, to move forward with hydraulic fracturing of shale in two counties in the state. Failed Gov. Martin O’Malley appointed a commission nearly three years ago to study it. A couple of studies have been created with two more still to go–due by August 1st of this year. The two remaining studies are nebulous “heath effects” (sound familiar?) and economic impacts from drilling. MDN has always joked that Maryland was the only state more dysfunctional than New York when it comes to shale drilling. We were wrong–New York is at the bottom of the heap. We think Maryland could actually beat us to the drill bit. Maybe.
However, we noticed an op-ed written by three members of the Maryland Safe-Drilling Advisory Commission, all three anti-drilling, that argues Maryland should be *more* like New York and delay. They say, in essence, “Ain’t no way those two studies can done in time.” So the answer? Delay. Hey, the delay strategy has worked in spades for NY–why not try it in MD? Here’s the op-ed (and what you get when you appoint anti-drillers to a drilling commission)…
A few weeks ago MDN asked the question, Can a Single Canceled Airline Route Affect Utica Shale Development? United Airlines is canceling its daily flights to and from Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport and Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport. It’s a big deal because the Utica’s top drillers, including Chesapeake Energy and Gulfport Energy, are headquartered in OKC, and introducing longer delays in getting from here to there may put a damper on Utica development. It’s not so far-fetched that a single canceled route could have a pretty significant impact.
When we brought you that story two weeks ago, we assumed that UA just decided to willy nilly cancel it. But such is not the case. As Midwestern icon Paul Harvey used to say, here’s “The Rest of the Story”…
Penn State and other organizations sponsor an initiative called the Shale Network. The Shale Network is a group of volunteers who sample local rivers and streams to ensure Marcellus drilling is not having a negative effect on local waterways. So far, we’ve not heard of a single instance where the testing has turned up a problem.
Part of the Shale Network is the Teen Shale Network, which involves local high school students from the State College, PA area to help with the testing–as a way to educate them on field science. To which we say, great! The kids were out freezing their derriere’s off recently, taking samples in Black Moshannon State Park…