Chevron Selling 17K Marcellus Shale Acres, More Sales Coming

land for saleChevron, according to NGI’s Shale Plays Factbook, is the fourth largest acreage holder in the Marcellus Shale with some 700,000 acres. It appears Chevron is looking to sell off at least some of that acreage. MDN received an email notice (below) from EnergyNet, hired to broker a sale for two of what they say will be an eventual 12 tracks of Marcellus acreage that Chevron owns. The current two are located in Bedford, Blair and Cambria counties in Pennsylvania and represent just over 17,000 acres total. EnergyNet is accepting sealed bids on various tracks, some held by production, some not…
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Gastar Finishing 5 Wells, Then Idling Rigs in Marcellus/Utica

Gastar Exploration released an update today to crow about an 87% increase in their proved reserves, and to whisper that they’ve further reduced their 2015 drilling budget–all the way down to $103 million. The news, for the Marcellus, gets worse. Of that $103, they’ll spend a measly $20 million in the Marcellus–$12 million to complete five wells and another $8 million on “acreage costs.” In other words, for all intents and purposes, Gastar has stopped drilling in the Marcellus and the Utica “until economic conditions are more favorable.” Gastar is keeping three drilling rigs active in their midcontinent drilling program–for the time being…
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Blue Racer Shelves Plans for Mahoning, OH Wet Gas Plant

It was only last August that Blue Racer said they would build a new $70 million wet gas processing plant in Mahoning County, OH (see Blue Racer to Build New Wet Gas Plant in Mahoning County, OH). A Blue Racer Midstream executive backpedaled last Thursday at the Marcellus-Utica Midstream conference and said those plans are now shelved, indefinitiely. Why? That part of the shale play “hasn’t panned out yet” for the company…
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List of Accidents Related Marcellus/Utica Shale Drilling 2010-2015

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register ran a couple of articles on accidents in the Marcellus/Utica yesterday. One of the articles chronicled a list of 21 incidents that have happened in the Ohio River Valley over the past 4-5 years, since shale drilling has heated up. That got us to wondering–how big a problem are accidents in the Marcellus/Utica region? We condensed The Intelligencer’s list and trolled through the considerable MDN archives (see our Accidents category) to produce a list of accidents since early 2010. Most of the accidents did not involve injuries–but some of them did. More accidents than we’d like to admit resulted in deaths. We must never forget this is a dangerous industrial activity and we must always be on guard to make it safer. We have nothing to hide and reflecting on what’s happened in the past is a good thing…
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Marcellus/Utica – More Dangerous than Other Shale Plays?

The recent ATEX Express pipeline explosion/fire in Brooke County, WV has folks asking questions (see ATEX Ethane Pipeline Explodes, Burns in Brooke County, WV). It’s not the first accident in Brooke County. In 2013 Chesapeake Energy had a hydraulic line fail at an active drilling site that ended up torching five tractor-trailers and did $8 million in damage (see Update on Chesapeake Energy Well Fire in Brooke County, WV). Over the past 4 to 5 years, since there’s been active drilling in the Marcellus/Utica, there have been 21 serious accidents/incidents in the Ohio Valley alone (and a number of others outside the Ohio Valley, see our companion article today) related to either drilling or pipelines. By comparison, there have been a handful of accidents and incidents in the North Dakota Bakken–and only one pipeline incident to speak of. Is it a fair comparison to make–safety in the Bakken vs. the Marcellus/Utica?…
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Seneca Resources Hits 1/2 Bcf/d Production in Previous Quarter

Last week National Fuel Gas Company, parent of Marcellus Shale driller Seneca Resources, reported its quarterly update for the quarter ending Dec 31, 2014. Everyone else calls it fourth quarter 2014, but for National Fuel Gas, it’s their first quarter 2015. What does the latest report show? During the quarter Seneca produced 48.2 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), an increase of 11.1 Bcfe or 30% over the prior year’s first quarter. Seneca has hit the half billion cubic foot per day club: average daily production during the quarter was 524 million cubic feet equivalent (MMcfe) per day…
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What Does Marcellus Wastewater Disposal Look Like in 10-15 Years?

An interesting and well-written article appears in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on the topic of disposal and recycling of frack wastewater. Once upon a time drillers in Pennsylvania would send frack wastewater to the local municipal sewage treatment plant. That ended in 2011 under Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer (see PA DEP, Marcellus Shale Coalition Admit Drilling Wastewater Likely Contaminating Drinking Water). Today, some 90% of frack wastewater, which includes both flowback (the stuff that comes back out of the hole for the first couple of weeks following a frack job) and produced water (the naturally occurring water from the depths that continues to come out after the initial frack job), is recycled and used for more fracking. But according to experts quoted, that can only go on for perhaps another 15 years. What happens after that? How do Marcellus/Utica drillers dispose of wastewater when there’s more than they can reuse?…
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