Maryland Elects Republican for Governor, Fracking on the Way?

Larry Hogan (left), Anthony Brown (right)In our political coverage yesterday, we overlooked one very important race–perhaps the biggest shocker of all: For only the second time in the past 50+ years a Republican won the governorship in Maryland. Which is astounding when you consider Republican Larry Hogan (pictured on the left) is an older businessman who was outspent 4 times by his younger opponent, Anthony Brown (pictured on the right), who was/is the sitting Lt. Governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one. It was an utter repudiation of the last eight years of ever-higher taxes and a bungled roll-out of the Obamacare health exchange in Maryland. Oh, and did we mention that new incoming Gov. Hogan is pro-drilling?!…
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Anti-Fracker Ejected from PA Gov-Elect Wolf Victory Celebration

That was fast. We find it amusing that Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s hometown newspaper, the York Daily Record (YDR), is already lowering expectations for their favorite son and what he’ll be able to accomplish as a Democrat governor in a state with an even larger majority of Republicans in the House and Senate than it had under current Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. The YDR says Wolf may not walk on water after all (although they’re not sure, he may), and that those nasty Republicans may, well, not just roll over and play dead like they’re s’posed to. Not only does Wolf have to fend off the nasty Republicans, he has a hard time keeping his own “supporters” somewhere in the realm of planet Earth. During Wolf’s victory celebration Tuesday night in York, when he mentioned shale drilling, some of the rabidly wacko anti-drillers in the audience went into hysterics–one of whom was physically removed from the premises…
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Range Resources Wins Contract to Drill Under Mingo Creek Park

Range Resources has won the right to drill under (not on) the Mingo Creek County Park in Nottingham Township in Washington County, PA. We told you back in December that county commissioners were soliciting proposals to drill under the county park (see Washington County Seeks Proposals to Drill Under Mingo Creek Park). In the end, Range Resources, Rice Energy and EQT were all interested–but it was Range’s terms of a $6,500 per acre signing bonus with 18% royalties that won the day…
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3 of 4 Frack Ban Ballot Measures in Ohio Fail – Athens Exception

What about those idiotic “ban fracking” ballot measures up for a vote on Tuesday in Ohio’s Utica Shale? The ballot measure in Youngstown, OH was the fourth such vote for that city (see Fourth Time the Charm for Youngstown Frack Ban Measure?). The Youngstown ballot measure went down in flames. There was a ban measure in Gates Mills, OH, a suburb near Cleveland (see Gates Mills, OH Caves – Anti-Frack Measure on Nov. Ballot). The Gates Mills ballot measure went down in flames too. Finally, there was a ballot measure in ultra-liberal Kent, OH. That ballot measure was voted down (miracles never cease!). Three strikes and yer out. But what’s this? The loonies in Athens, OH prevailed in snookering enough Democrat voters to support a ban that it actually passed in Athens. A year ago we asked the question, Will Utica Shale Drilling Come to Athens County, OH Soon?. We can now answer that question: NO. No drilling will come to Athens–at least to the city (and likely the rest of the area) now that the voters of Athens have thumbed their nose at the industry. There’s plenty of other locations outside of Athens in which to drill…
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Antero 3Q14: Production Passes 1 Bcf/d; Adds 32K Acres in NE

Antero Resources, one of the largest acreage holders and biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica region, issued their third quarter 2014 update yesterday. During 3Q14 the company added another 32,000 net acres in the core of the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays resulting in 520,000 total net acres in the Appalachian Basin. The company’s net daily gas equivalent production averaged 1.08 billion cubic feet per day, a 91% increase over the prior year quarter. They also floated an IPO for their midstream division hauling in a hefty $1 billion more in revenue…
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Gulfport Energy 3Q14: 31 Utica Wells Drilled, 19 Brought Online

Gulfport Energy, a major Utica Shale exploration & production company, reported their third quarter 2014 operational and financial results yesterday. The compan reports spudding/drilling 31 Utica Shale wells in 3Q14, bringing 19 new wells online for production during the quarter. Right now they operate 8 horizontal drilling rigs in the Ohio Utica Shale. By the end of the year Gulfport will have spent upward of $750 million (or more) on their Utica drilling program for 2014. Here’s more…
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MarkWest 3Q14: 2.6 Bcf/d of Gas Processed, 800 Mmcf/d New Capacity

MarkWest Energy, the largest midstream company operating in the Marcellus/Utica, issued their third quarter update yesterday. The company processed Marcellus and Utica Shale gas volumes averaging 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) during 3Q14. The also placed into service 800 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of new processing capacity, with the addition of Sherwood IV & Sherwood V in the Marcellus Shale and Cadiz II and Seneca III in the Utica Shale. In addition, MarkWest signed up new customers American Energy Partners in the Utica Shale and PennEnergy Resources and EdgeMarc Energy in the Marcellus Shale. The company continues to aggressively push forward in the northeast to build out infrastructure that’s desperately needed…
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Chesapeake Energy 3Q14: Utica Production Up 27%, Marcellus Up 1%

The mighty Chesapeake Energy, increasingly a shell of its former self, issued their third quarter 2014 update yesterday. In the update we find that production for Chesapeake in the Utica Shale shot up 27% over the previous year. However, Marcellus production was up just 1%. The cost to complete a well in both the Utica and Marcellus went down year over year. Very interesting (to us) is that although Utica wells are much deeper, they cost Chessy less to drill. They spend $6.5 million on average to drill and complete a Utica Shale well vs. $7 million for their average Marcellus Shale well…
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Crestwood Midstream 3Q14: Continued Expansion in the Marcellus

Yesterday Crestwood Midstream Partners, a midstream company with a large operation in the Marcellus Shale, released their third quarter update and financial numbers. They also held an analyst call. From the two, we learn that Crestwood is near completion of extra compression for its MARC I North-South pipeline which will add an extra 200 million cubic feet per day of capacity. We also learn that the company has connected 49 new Antero Resources wells in West Virginia to their gathering network during the first nine months of this year. Crestwood CEO Bob Phillips said, on the analyst call, that in 2015 Crestwood will have access to 3.3 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus dry gas production. He predicts Crestwood will become the “intermediate gatherer of choice” in 2015…
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PennEast Pipeline Plan Sprouts an Off-Shoot to Lehigh Valley

The 100+ mile PennEast Pipeline, proposed by six joint-venture partners including utility company UGI and pipeline company Spectra Energy (see Spectra Energy Becomes 6th Partner in PennEast Pipeline Project), is slated to run from Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania through southeastern PA and into New Jersey, near Trenton. The planned route is still being worked out. However, the PennEast Pipeline has just sprouted an extra off-shoot or “lateral” off from the main pipeline. This new 2-mile section will connect the main PennEast Pipeline to a UGI Gas interconnection facility in the Hellertown (Northampton County) area–delivering cheap Marcellus Shale gas to the Lower Saucon and Bethlehem areas, otherwise known as the Lehigh Valley…
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Sham Frac Sand Report: The Sky is Falling!

Several anti-drilling groups have issued a “research report” that tries to shut down drilling based on the hazards of frac sand mining. The report, titled “Communities At Risk: Frac Sand Mining in the Upper Midwest,” was published by the Civil Society Institute’s Boston Action Research (BAR) and released in cooperation with Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA). It is just the latest in a string of not-so-veiled attempts to shut down the miracle of hydraulic fracturing. We’ve written a number of times about the very serious issue of safely handling frac sand (see Silica Dust Exposure Topic A at ShaleSafe Conference in Wheeling for one example). We welcome real research that looks for solutions instead of hocus pocus “just stop drilling” solutions offered by the authors of this “report”…
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