CONSOL Drills 2nd Best Utica Well Ever in PA, Flows 61 Mmcf/d!

2nd placeYesterday CONSOL Energy’s management team hosted their second quarter 2015 analyst and investor conference call. There was major information contained in that call. The big news is that CONSOL just hooked up and tested a new Utica Shale well in Westmoreland County, PA that is the second best initial producing Utica well ever. Just last week MDN told you about the #1 Utica well drilled so far, by EQT (see EQT’s 1st Utica Well Shatters Record – 72.9 MMcf/d IP Rate!). The EQT monster Utica well is located in Greene County, PA. The CONSOL well just brought online is located about four miles away from that well–and is initially producing and flowing at 61 million cubic feet per day! [Correction: CONSOL’s 61 MMcf/d gusher is the Gaut 4IH. CONSOL is right now drilling the GH9 well that is four miles from the big EQT monster well.] This is really big news and is the reason that Utica drilling has turned CONSOL’s head away from Marcellus drilling…
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Indian Giant RIL Looking to Dump its Marcellus Joint Ventures

The single largest company in India, and one of the largest energy companies in the world, is Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). As of July 2013, RIL had invested a massive $5.7 billion in three shale joint ventures–the bulk of that in the Marcellus Shale. The company was planning to double it’s shale investment to over $10 billion! But a funny thing happened on the way the Forum. Prices for oil and gas started to slump, and RIL’s return on their shale investments slumped with it. RIL invested $3.5 billion in a Marcellus joint venture with Atlas Energy in 2010 (see Joint Venture Between Reliance Industries and Atlas Energy Worth $3.5 Billion Over 10 Years). RIL later battled Chevron to buy Atlas–but Chevron won, so RIL became a jv partner with Chevron (see India’s RIL Loses Bidding War for Atlas Energy – $4.3 Billion Deal with Chevron Goes Forward). RIL currently has 3 jv’s, the Chevron jv in the Marcellus (owns 40% of that acreage), a jv with Carrizo Oil & Gas in the Marcellus (owns 60% of that acreage), and a jv with Pioneer Natural Resources in the Texas Eagle Ford (owns 45% of that acreage). Now comes word that RIL wants to exit all of their jv’s and wash their hands of U.S. shale, a 180 degree reversal from just a few years ago…
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Range Resources 2Q15: Record High Production, Net Inc. Drops 168%

Range Resources Corporation, the very first Marcellus driller and one of the largest, continues to focus primarily on the Marcellus/Utica region. They also drill in the Midcontinent region, but most of their effort and time is spent in the Appalachian Basin. Yesterday Range released their operating and financial update for second quarter 2015. Among the highlights: Production averaged 1.373 billion cubic feet per day equivalent (Bcfe/d), a 24% increase over 2Q14 and a new record high for the company. Range reduced drilling costs by 11% year over year. However, the company is clearly scaling back in 2015. Range drilled and completed 89 wells in the Marcellus/Utica region during the first half of 2015, but they plan to cut that in half for the second half of 2015–planning to drill and complete an additional 44 wells. Low prices have affected Range like all of the other E&Ps we’ve covered thus far. Quarterly revenues dropped 68% year over year–from $765.5 million in 2Q14 to $247.5 million in 2Q15. Adding in expenses, Range’s net income for 2Q14 was $171.4 million in 2Q14 and dropped to minus $118.6 million in 2Q15–a 169% drop. But help on the price front for Range is on the way according to the update, in the form of two pipeline projects Range expects to go online soon…
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Eclipse Resources Releases Operations but not Financial Update

Using the same strategy used by Gulfport Energy that we noted yesterday, Eclipse Resources, a smaller but important Utica/Marcellus driller based in State College, PA but drilling mostly in the Ohio Utica, released an operational update yesterday–but not their financials. Typically the operations updates are the good news, and the financials are the bad news. Eclipse’s operations update boasts an impressive 374% increase in production to 198.6 million cubic feet equivalent (MMcfe) per day in 2Q15 over 2Q14. Of particular note: Eclipse drilled a dry gas Utica well in eastern Monroe Country, OH with a 10,220 foot lateral (21,330 foot total measured depth), its longest lateral and deepest well to date–in just 17 days from Spud to Total Depth…
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NY Antis Now Want LPG Fracking Banned Too, Letter to DEC

At the risk of sounding pedantic and endlessly repeating what we’ve said many times before–the frack ban in New York is not about water quality concerns or any of the other myriad so-called “problems” that come from using water to hydraulically fracture an oil or gas well. This is how we know. If you remove water from the equation, which is the major concern and why the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has decided to ban fracking (supposedly), anti-drillers still object to fracking. A group of virulent, hardened, and frankly nutty anti-drillers from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Earthjustice and Frack Action have just sent a letter to the NY DEC asking the DEC to ban ALL fracking, including LPG (propane) fracking that a group of landowners in Tioga County, NY plan to use (see NY Landowners File to Frack Horizontal Well w/Waterless Tech). What has anti-drillers so terrified of LPG fracking? If LPG fracking is used in NY, it will prove that fracking can be done safely in NY–and once that happens, it’s game over for those who object to fracking. Anti-drillers’ call to ban LPG fracking points out what we’ve said for years: these people object to fracking because they irrationally, psychotically, hate fossil fuels–not because fracking pollutes water supplies, because it doesn’t…
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Special Election for NY Senate in Binghamton Tied to Fracking

Sadly, pro-drillers in New York State recently lost a big supporter in the NY Senate–Sen. Tom Libous. For those who don’t live in New York, Libous was the long-time Senator from the Binghamton area, in the Senate for 27 years and a powerful member as deputy majority leader of the Senate. Libous was recently found guilty of lying to the FBI about using his influence to get his son a politically connected job. Libous has been removed from office. Essentially Libous got his son a job he didn’t have to work at but got paid for (see this Gannett story). Slimy to say the least, but we can list numerous ethics violations far worse on the Democrat side of the isle. For all of his faults, Libous was a friend to the pro-drilling movement in the state. The race is now on to replace Libous in a special election. The early leader, if you believe local news outlets (which we don’t), is Democrat Barbara Fiala–someone who once supported drilling but now, because she’s in Andrew Cuomo’s back pocket, opposes it…
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Researchers Look for Life in Marcellus Shale – Natural Fracking?

Journey to the Center of the EarthThis sounds like something out of a Jules Verne novel. You may recall from school that Verne wrote some of the earliest sci-fi adventures ever, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth. In Journey, Verne wrote about strange and mysterious critters that live deep in the earth–in rock caverns. Turns out Verne may not have been so far from the truth after all. And there’s a tie-in with the Marcellus Shale and with fracking. In November West Virginia University and Ohio State University received an $11 million grant by the federal government to study the Marcellus and Utica Shale (see WVU/OSU Get $11M Grant to Study Shale Energy Best Practices). Work is progressing. Researchers with the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory are taking rock core samples to see if there are microbes living 7,000 feet below the surface in the Marcellus Shale rock layer that could, if present, potentially be “fed” causing them to multiply and grow and maybe even naturally frack (break apart) rock layers, allowing us to get more natural gas and oil from those layers. It sounds pretty far-fetched–but stranger things have happened! Here’s the story of looking for life miles below the surface of the earth in the Marcellus…
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Rural Belmont County, OH Gets Another New Hotel – in St Clairsville

St. Clairsville with a population of just over 5,000 is the county seat for rural Belmont County, OH. Small villages like St. Clairsville typically have a handful of stores and other businesses. It’s highly unusual for a small town like St. Clairsville to score a major new hotel–but it just has, thanks to the Utica Shale. Belmont County is in the epicenter for the sweet spot in the Utica Shale. Even with drilling scaling back from low prices, there is still plenty of activity–especially in Belmont County. Commonwealth Hotels yesterday announced the opening of the newly constructed 92-room Candlewood Suites St Clairsville. Located at Mall Ring Road, the Candlewood Suites is the newest hotel in the region, conveniently located near I-70…
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