Shotgun Wedding: Halliburton Forces Baker Hughes to Sell

shotgun weddingThat was fast. Last week MDN told you the scuttlebutt that the second largest oilfield services company in the U.S., Halliburton, was “in talks” to buy the third largest oilfield services company in the U.S., Baker Hughes (see Big News: Halliburton in Talks to Buy Baker Hughes). The “talks” advanced quickly. Yesterday the two companies announced they will tie the knot in something of a shotgun wedding (which we explain below). Halliburton is paying a dowry of $34.6 BILLION in stock and cash to buy out Baker Hughes, lock, stock and barrel…
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Shocker: U.S. Forest Service to Allow Shale Drilling in GW Forest

Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe may end up eating his own words. He once famously said that as long as he’s governor there will be no fracking in the George Washington National Forest, most of which is located in his state (see VA Gov. McAuliffe Vows No Drilling in Washington Natl Forest). Whoops. Careful what you promise, Terry. The U.S. Forest Service, in a shock reversal of their previous position, released a plan today that allows oil and gas drilling on 167,000 acres of the 1.1 million-acre GW National Forest…
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Single Rice OH Utica Well Produces 2 Bcf in 5 Months!

What adjectives and superlatives can you use to describe a single shale well that produces 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas in five months? That’s how much has been produced by Rice Energy’s Bigfoot 9H well in Belmont County, OH. If you figure Rice is getting an average $4 per thousand cubic feet for the gas, that means the gas sold from that well over the past five months has grossed the company something like $8 million. If the landowners get a 20% royalty from the well, that’s a $1.6 million check. “Darn impressive” is perhaps the understatement of the year…
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Fracking Chemicals No More Toxic than Common Household Substances

If MDN or someone from the oil & gas industry said, “Fracking chemicals are no more toxic than common household substances,” it would be dismissed by anti-drillers as just another industry lie. MDN has, in fact, been making that very assertion for years. That exact statement was made (once again) last week–but this time it was made by researchers at the liberal University of Colorado Boulder. Researchers recently published a new study in the peer-reviewed journal Analytical Chemistry titled “Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback and Produced Waters Using Accurate Mass: Identification of Ethoxylated Surfactants.” The study concludes that yes, the oft-maligned “toxic chemicals” used in fracking that “big oil” supposedly hides from you are essentially the same chemicals found in cleaning products underneath your kitchen sink and in your bathroom medicine cabinet. Chemicals found in stuff like laundry detergent and toothpaste…
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Carrizo Scales Back in Marcellus, Keeps Drilling in Utica

What a difference three months can make. In second quarter 2014 Carrizo Oil & Gas drilled 9 Marcellus wells and purchased more Utica acreage (see Carrizo 2Q14: Drills 9 Marcellus Wells, Buys More Utica Acreage). In third quarter 2014, Carrizo didn’t drill or complete any Marcellus wells, they began work to complete their second-ever Utica well and now have plans to drill only 5 more Utica wells in 4Q13. The problem seems to be lack of infrastructure (pipelines) to carry any production from their wells to market, as well as stubbornly low prices for natural gas in the northeast–leading to voluntary “curtailment” on the part of Carrizo (they shut the wells off for a period of time). Carrizo is re-focusing their efforts on the more oily Eagle Ford and Niobrara Shale plays…
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Scranton Newspaper Discovers WPX is Leaving PA–9 Months Later

Better nine months late than never, we suppose. Back in February, MDN told you that WPX Energy is leaving the Marcellus (see WPX Energy Abandoning the Marcellus? Sure Looks That Way). We got clarification from WPX spokesperson Susan Oliver that although they would not drill any new wells, they will continue to operate at least some of the 100+ wells already drilled (see WPX Gives MDN an Update on Their 2014 Marcellus Plans). Over a month ago we told you that WPX is actively shopping their remaining undrilled acreage (see WPX Marcellus Assets Being Shopped in “Controlled Auction”). The Scranton Times-Tribune finally woke up (nine months later) and, shazam! They discovered that WPX is (can you believe it?) leaving PA…
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GASFRAC Says LPG Waterless Fracking May Prevent Earthquakes

Last week MDN was the first to bring you the news that Canadian company GASFRAC has (after two years) finally begun fracking an Ohio Utica Shale well using liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG (see GASFRAC Begins Waterless Fracking Job in OH Utica). GASFRAC’s senior management held an analyst call last week to discuss the company’s performance (the company’s financials are not good). As part of that call was a Q&A in which the Utica well they’re now working on was discussed. We found the banter interesting. One of the more interesting aspects was GASFRAC’s contention that LPG fracking used in places where earthquakes are a concern (like Ohio) may reduce the likelihood of a fracking-induced earthquake from occurring…
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NJ Utility to Provide Marcellus Gas to Virginia Power Plant

Here’s one that will stretch your brain in new directions: A New Jersey utility, South Jersey Gas, has won the contract to provide Marcellus Shale gas to a new electric generation plant that will run on that gas, to be built in Loudoun County, Virginia by Panda Power. Panda, you may recall, is a Texas-based investment firm that invests in and operates electric plants, including two in northeast Pennsylvania (see Panda Power Buys Rights for 2nd Marcellus-Fueled Electric Plant). Although not located in the Marcellus region per se, the Loudon County, VA project, called the Stonewall Power Project, will be Panda’s third Marcellus gas-powered electric plant…
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4 Mass. Legislators Brag About Opposing Kinder Pipeline

Here’s four Massachusetts state representatives that residents of MA may want to consider voting out of office for their rigid stance against the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, a pipeline aimed at delivering cheap, abundant clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas so desperately needed in MA and the other New England states: Rep. Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington), Sen. Eileen Donaghue (D-Lowell), Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), and Rep. Sheila Harrington (R-Groton). They boast that they pressured current/out-going governor Deval Patrick to back away from supporting the pipeline. The Democrat candidate for governor in November’s election, Martha Coakley (Patrick decided not to run again), opposed the pipeline too. She lost. Even in the face of defeat and the prospect of rolling blackouts (see the story below), these dimwits continue their push to prevent more natural gas from reaching their region due to their own misguided prejudice against fossil fuels…
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