Range Resources Drills Highest-Ever Initial Producing Utica Well

top prizeYesterday Range Resources released an announcement with two big pieces of news. The first (and lesser) news is this: Range is trimming its 2015 exploration and production budget by 18% compared to what they spent this year. The 2015 capital expenditure budget is now set at $1.3 billion. However, the company says production will continue to increase, even with less spending on drilling. The second and more important news: Range has drilled a Utica Shale well that has dethroned Magnum Hunter’s Utica well (see Magnum Hunter Takes the Prize: Top Producing Utica Well) as being the most initially productive horizontal shale well ever–in the Marcellus, Utica or any other shale play. Range says their Utica well is producing an initial production rate of a mind-blowing 59 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d). In the course of a single month, that one well produces enough gas to heat more than 25,000 U.S. homes for an entire winter. Oh…and just where is Range’s new gargantuan Utica well located? In Washington County, PA…
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Maryland Gets Ready to Frack! Gov O’Malley Files New Regulations

You’ll be hard pressed to find a reference to some of the most important news over the past four years when it comes to Maryland and fracking–but it happened last Friday when Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley filed a copy of draft regulations to be printed in the next edition of the Maryland Register. What does it mean? It means once the rule is published, after a certain period of time it goes into effect and the moratorium on shale drilling in the state will be lifted. This is truly momentous news and the only source talking about it (so far) is the odious Food & Water Watch…
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Spanish Respol Buys Marcellus E&P Talisman Energy for $8/Share

It’s no longer rumor and innuendo. Looks like corporate raider Carl Icahn has chased Talisman Energy into the arms of Spanish oil giant Repsol. Talisman released a statement this morning to say Repsol is buying the company lock, stock and barrel for $8 per share (U.S., $9.33 per share Canadian). The board of directors for both companies have unanimously approved the deal. Now the PR campaign begins to convince regulators in Canada (and Spain) that it’s a good deal and should be approved. Here’s the official announcement from Talisman…
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NY Gov Cuomo Teases (Again) Health Report Ready “This Year”

Don't Tease MeOnce again New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is being a tease with regard to the fracking issue. Question is, do we believe him this time? Or is this yet another empty promise? During this fall’s single/only gubernatorial debate, Cuomo was asked about the fracking issue and he said a report from the state Dept. of Health on the fracking issue is due by the end of this year (now two weeks away). At the time, his harried campaign staff ran around after that off-the-cuff remark to “explain” what he really meant by it (see Cuomo Staff Explains “End of Year” Deadline for Frack Report). It’s all about managing expectations, and if you’re a Democrat, managing stupid voters (witness comments by Jonathan Gruber and how he and others hookwinked stupid voters to sell passage of Obamacare). Yesterday in a radio interview, Cuomo once again mentioned the fracking health report and said it is “on time” for delivery THIS year. That caught the eye of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York…
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XTO Gets Serious in OH Utica, Hires Summit for Gathering System

XTO Energy, wholly-owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has an active drilling program in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. But when was the last time you heard anything about new wells or activity by XTO? The company largely stays off the radar. According to MDN’s Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook, the company gets somewhere between 20-25 new permits every four months to drill in the PA Marcellus. So far this year, XTO has received 11 and 17 permits (Jan-Apr and May-Aug respectively) for new wells in the Ohio Utica Shale, which is the first appreciable drilling done by the company in the Utica. With Utica drilling under way, it must be time to build pipelines to connect the wells–and right on cue, we have an announcement from Summit Midstream Partners that they’ve signed a contract with XTO to build a gathering pipeline network…
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ODNR Weighs in on Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Monroe County, OH

Yesterday MDN brought you news that Triad Hunter had a well blowout in Monroe County, OH at their Stalder 3UH well (see Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Monroe County, OH – No One Injured). We have a brief update from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources on that incident…
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Go it Alone? Or Join a Landowner Coalition/Group?

Not every landowner can belong to a group that negotiates a lease to allow Marcellus or Utica Shale drilling. In some areas (like PA, WV and OH), much of the large tracts of land is already leased. However, if you can belong to such a group, MDN believes it is in your best interests to do so. For example, take the experience of landowners in Washington County, PA…
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PA “High” Society Meeting Yields News Related to Marcellus

It’s interesting and instructive that when members of the Pennsylvania Society, the so-called “cream of Pennsylvania’s elite” get together for their annual soiree, they go to…New York City. And they party. At this year’s meeting there were several pieces of news that related to the Marcellus Shale. In fact, three of the four major pieces of news are closely tied to the Marcellus. They include: corrupt Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke wants to run for mayor; incompetent PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane will run for a second ignominious term; and new PA Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman appears to be a RINO like the outgoing Senate Majority Leader…
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How are Low Oil Prices Affecting Marcellus-Focused Law Practices?

We continue to see stories mentioning the collapse of the oil price and its potential ramifications on shale drilling in the northeast. Yesterday we brought you insight into how low oil prices may (or may not) be affecting Ohio Utica Shale drilling (see OOGA Says Some Drilling in OH Stopped by Low Oil Price). Today, we have a story about how the low price of oil may or may not be affecting the legal industry that serves the Marcellus and Utica industry. When it comes to whether or not lawyers are seeing a slow down, it all depends on what part of the industry they serve…
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Dominion East Ohio Says Natgas Prices Stay “Moderate” This Winter

Dominion East Ohio, a natural gas utility operating in the Buckeye State, issued a statement yesterday for the benefit of its customers to say, in essence, the price of natural gas this winter shouldn’t spike like they did last year with the polar vortex. In fact, Dominion East says rates will likely be lower. Characterizing the rates for this winter as “moderate,” Dominion East said the overall rate will not exceed $6 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). Why? Because of the natural gas being produced in the prolific Marcellus and Utica Shale…
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