Oil & Gas Awards – List of Winners, Bang-up Time!

Oil & Gas AwardsLast week MDN editor Jim Willis (that’s me) had the pleasure of participating in the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards, including the “Conference for Excellence,” in Pittsburgh. Below is the list of winners for the 25 categories of competition. Many of the names you will recognize, some you may not. I will list the winners in due course. But first, a bit about my personal journey in participating in this star-studded and impressive event.

The CEO for the Oil & Gas Awards, Daniel Creasey, contacted me four months ago to see if MDN would consider becoming a media partner for the Northeast event. For those outside of the publishing world, such deals typically include a barter arrangement where a publication promotes an event in return for publicity as a media sponsor–listings in conference materials and on the conference website. The first thing I noticed was, Daniel and the Oil & Gas Awards company are British! Which is a plus for me, because I have worked for and with Brits most of my adult career (I am a confirmed Anglophile). Daniel and I “hit it off” and we both decided perhaps more than the usual media partner deal would be beneficial…
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Ben Lupo Admits Guilt in OH Frack Wastewater Dumping, Prison Next?

Last week MDN speculated that Ben Lupo, the business owner of a trucking company who instructed an employee to repeatedly dump frack wastewater down a drain that emptied into the Mahoning River near Youngstown, OH, would change his plea from not guilty to guilty (see Youngstown Wastewater Dumping Case Nears End, Lupo to Plead Guilty?).

Indeed, Lupo did change his plea yesterday in a federal court in Cleveland…
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Utica Driller Halcon Resources Up for Sale According to CEO

MDN recently reported that Halcon Resources has stopped drilling on their leased land in the Utica Shale (see Halcon Resources Stops Drilling, Gives Up on the Utica Shale). Halcon’s blunt-talking CEO, Floyd Wilson, famously said he didn’t want to drill any more underperforming (he used more colorful language) wells in the Ohio’s northern Utica and instead seemed to say the company’s focus would be further south. Then the company said nyet–no more wells drilled in 2014 in the Utica. From Wilson’s remarks yesterday at the Howard Weil energy conference in New Orleans, it appears that Halcon may not drill any more wells in the Ohio Utica…ever.

Wilson said yesterday at the investor’s conference that it is his end-game to sell Halcon to a bigger fish. Wilson started Halcon 2011. In order to sell the company, he’s working to make it more attractive to investors. Wilson knows a thing or two about building energy companies and selling them–he built up and sold Petrohawk Energy to BHP Billiton Plc in 2011 for $12.1 billion. Apparently he’s hoping to do something similar with Halcon, except this time around it’s more of a challenge. Below is a report on Wilson’s “Halcon is up for sale” remarks yesterday in New Orleans…
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Seneca Drills First Upper Devonian Well with Impressive Results

Seneca Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Buffalo-based National Fuel Gas Company, reports drilling their very first Upper Devonian shale well in Lycoming County, PA. The results are impressive: a peak 24-hour production rate of 14.1 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day, and an average 8.6 MMcf per day during its first 30 days. The Upper Devonian (UD) is a number of shale layers lumped together under one umbrella name. The specific layer targeted by Seneca for their first UD well is the Geneseo rock layer.

Word of Seneca’s success in the UD comes as part of an operational update issued by National Fuel Gas yesterday. Another gem in the update: Seneca has just completed drilling a 9-well pad and is almost finished drilling a 6-well pad. Here’s the full update from Seneca with the exciting UD news…
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PA Anti-Drilling Activist Asks Court to Lift Cabot Restraining Order

Vera Scroggins, a local and outside NEPA a little-known anti-driller in Susquehanna County with a potty mouth (see this video of her harassing filmmaker Phelim McAleer), had her day in a Montrose, PA court yesterday in which she and her commie-lib ACLU lawyers tried to get a restraining order lifted. Vera, according to Cabot Oil & Gas, repeatedly violated no trespassing requests from the company. She would show up at Cabot drill sites playing tour guide to obtuse politicians from New York City and on occasion even Hollywood celebrities (like Susan Sarandon), pretending the drill sites and compressor plants she showed them are somehow harming the environment. Cabot repeatedly told Vera to please stop entering roadways and drill sites as a safety precaution. She wouldn’t listen, so Cabot was forced to turn to the local Susquehanna County Court for help (see NE PA Anti-Driller Slapped with Trespassing Injunction)…
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Chesapeake’s 2014 Laser Focus: Liquids and Continued Fire Sales

Chesapeake Energy is presenting at the 42nd Annual Howard Weil Energy Conference this week in New Orleans. As part of their presentation they released a new PowerPoint slide deck (copy embedded below). What does it show? Liquids liquids liquids. Chesapeake has its sights set on producing more liquids as it’s ticket to financial health. The presentation also reveals they will continue to shed “noncore assets and noncore affiliates.” That is, “Watch out below–more ballast coming over the side!” as Chessy will continue to dump divisions and subsidiaries in an effort to prop up the stock price and make bossman corporate raider Carl Icahn happy.

The slide deck is quite revealing and loaded with good information. We learn, for example, that Chessy is spending less than half in capital expenditures on drilling this year than they did just two years ago. First we’ll give you some of our insights and point out our favorite slides and what they reveal, then we’ll share SNL Financial’s take on the presentation. Finally, we’ve embedded the presentation itself so you can peruse it for yourself. The flavor and tone of the presentation is that Chessy is (now) fiscally disciplined and on track to turn the company around and make it profitable. Not mentioned anywhere in the presentation is the 800-pound gorilla: the lawsuits filed and investigations launched into Chesapeake’s alleged screwing of landowners out of royalty payments, which (if found true) will quickly derail all of their best-laid plans to make Icahn even more rich…
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Some Utica Players Tip Their Hand on Plans for Next 3-5 Years

Although drillers are often mum on future plans, some drillers (and midstream companies) who participated in the recent Ohio Oil & Gas Association (OOGA) annual winter meeting earlier this month were helpfully chatty about what’s coming in the Ohio Utica over the next few years.

Tom Knox, intrepid new reporter doing a great job at the Columbus Business Journal, was on hand at the OOGA meeting and took good notes. He reports on what PDC Energy, Antero Resources, Eclipse Resources and Enlink Midstream have planned in the next 3-5 years for the Utica…
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CONSOL Getting New CEO, Old CEO Kicked Upstairs as Exec Chairman

More change on the way at CONSOL Energy. Over the past several years CONSOL has been on a mission to transform itself from one of the country’s largest coal producers to one of the country’s biggest shale exploration and production companies. And they’re succeeding. Along the way, CONSOL’s shale drilling division, CNX Gas, was guided by the very capable hand of COO Randy Albert–until he announced his retirement late last year. In January, Randy’s replacement, Tim Dugan, took the reigns at CNX (see New CNX Gas COO Tim Dugan – Marcellus & Utica Experience).

Now there’s change afoot in the top job at CNX’s parent CONSOL. J. Brett Harvey, Chairman and CEO, will become Executive Chairman of the company (they’re kicking Brett upstairs). In his place becoming CEO will be current CONSOL president Nicholas J. DeIuliis. Nick will add CEO to his business card and be put in charge of the day to day operations at the company. Nick is a youthful 45 years old, taking the reigns of a $9.3 billion company. Here’s the announcement about the coming promotions at CONSOL, from last Friday:
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ecorpStim Waterless Fracking Newsjacks UN Water & Energy Report

ecorpStim, a company that has pioneered an interesting waterless fracking technology that uses non-flammable liquefied petroleum gas (propane) to replace all water and chemicals used in traditional fracking, continues their newsjacking ways. We told you last December how the company gloms onto big news stories and tries to tie themselves to the story–as if the story were about them when it isn’t (see Waterless Fracker ecorpStim (Mis)Uses Newsjacking for Attention). We hadn’t spotted any more cases and thought they had wisely decided to cool it with the newsjacking. But we were wrong.

Yesterday ecorpStim issued a new press release to call attention to themselves via a recently issued UN report on water and energy. Yes, in one sense you can say ecorpStim’s technology offers a solution to a teeny tiny portion of the water issues raised in the report. Frankly, shale drilling uses a small fraction of the water used by other forms of energy extraction and even by agriculture and golf courses! Shale drilling’s use of water in no way endangers water supplies. Look, we applaud creative “hey look at me” marketing. We like the ecorpStim technology! However, we take a dim view of useless marketing that doesn’t advance the very serious issues facing our industry. You decide which this is…
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