List of 36 Oil & Gas Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy in 2015

Whew. Dodged a bullet–this year. Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international corporate law firm with offices in Texas, New York, California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Shanghai and Mexico City. Their HQ is in Texas. The firm has a sizable Bankruptcy and Energy practices. Unfortunately those two practices are increasingly becoming one, and the firm says they’re adding lawyers to the Bankruptcy practice. Last week Haynes and Boone issued their very first Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor (full copy below), a report that details the rising tide of 2015 exploration and production company Chapter 11 filings. The report lists 36 bankruptcies in 2015 totaling about $13 billion in cumulative secured and unsecured debt. With fear and trepidation we reviewed the list–and found that none of the companies listed have major, nor even minor, operations in the Marcellus/Utica. However, that may not remain the case…
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Anti-Frackers Out of Control at Athens Mtg on Wayne Natl Forest

Correction: We labeled the publication reporting on the BLM meeting in Athens as “the Athens Post.” It is, more correctly, “The Post,” a student newspaper published at Ohio University’s Athens campus. We have yet another glaring example of the outright lies and distortions of not only national, but local liberal media. In this case from the student-run  The Post — a publication of Ohio University – Athens. A “reporter” (leftie stenographer) is repeating propaganda from anti-drilling crazies who attended a recent meeting hosted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service about the plan to begin fracking in the Wayne National Forest. As they usually do, a group of hippie and hippie wannabe nutters turned out to harass people who support drilling. The antis behaved badly–as they always do. They threw things (paper airplanes, namely), they spat on fracking supporters, hollered and chanted and in general, behaved in an aggressive manner. At one point, when it became apparent the meeting was getting out of hand, a U.S. Forest Service officer used his baton to push some of the crazies back. A very short clip, taken out of context, shows it happening–and that became the focus of the story published by The Post. From start to finish the “story” is a lie. These aggressive (we’d call them terrorist) nutters are demanding the Forest Service agent lose his job for doing his job in protecting the peaceful people at the meeting…
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Susan Sarandon Supports Anti-Pipeline Movement in Massachusetts

What do Hollywood celebrities do to boost a sagging career? Celebrities who were once “A” list but have sunk to “B” and “C” list status? Celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon found notoriety in supporting the anti-fracking movement. But the problem with “success” when it comes to anti-fracking (a la New York’s ban), is that once you’ve won, what do you do then? You see, antis like Ruffalo and Sarandon always need another bogyman–another “cause” to inject (a) notoriety, and (b) meaning into their otherwise meaningless lives. Like a junkie who needs another fix, these people need to be in the news, their face and name plastered everywhere, or they don’t think anyone “loves” them anymore. It’s a shame what depths they sink to, really. At least Sarandon has talent–Ruffalo has no talent. Sarandon (or more properly, her agent) has (surprise!) found a new cause to promote–time to prop up that sagging career. Sarandon has thrown in her lot with the crazies opposing the Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline project–the massive $5 billion expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline system from Pennsylvania into New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and back into Massachusetts where it will end near Boston. Sarandon recently issued a statement through the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, whose director, Leigh Youngblood, has been at the forefront of opposing any new pipelines in the Bay State…
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PennEnergy Resources Building Frack Water Pipeline from Ohio River

PennEnergy Resources, a small but active driller in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale, is working on a plan to pipe water from the Ohio River to its drill sites in Beaver County, PA. PennEnergy is, according to the latest edition of the Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook (Vol. 2) one of two active drillers in Beaver County–and the most active at that. The company was founded by energy executives Rich Weber and Greg Muse in 2011. Here’s the low down on piping Ohio River water to be used for fracking…
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NY Town Supports, Antis Fundraise Against, Waterless Fracking

MDN editor Jim Willis is often asked, when people learn of his occupation of writing about shale drilling, “What’s up with New York? Will there ever be any drilling in the state?” Jim’s answer is always the same: some day. But likely not until we excrete out of office our current man-child governor, Andy Cuomo. The one potential bright spot for fracking in the Empire State is a plan by a small group of farmers in Tioga County, NY to use waterless fracking technology to drill a test shale well (see NY Landowners File to Frack Horizontal Well w/Waterless Tech). The Snyder Farm Group, as it’s called, has filed an application with the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC)–owned and controlled by Cuomo–so that’s where the application now sits, with nothing happening so far as we can tell. Sooner or later the Snyder Group will have to sue the DEC to move things along. In the meantime, we have two bits of news to share with respect to the Town of Barton waterless fracking proposal. One bit of news is about support for the plan in Tioga County, and the other is about opposition to the plan from the usual suspects who oppose ANYTHING to do with fossil energy, not because it’s somehow inherently dangerous to extract natural gas, but because it IS natural gas. An irrational hatred of carbon molecules (the stuff you breathe out with every breath)…
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Prominent Energy Law Firm Closing Down – Lack of Business

It’s always fun to bust on lawyers–everyone’s favorite pass time, right? “How many lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb?….” All joking aside, we love lawyers here at MDN. Well, most of them, anyway. Some of our best customers (and biggest supporters) are lawyers. And we love them right back–because you’re nuts if you sign ANYTHING to do with oil and gas without first running it by a qualified attorney. We’ve always said it, and we always will. You need a good lawyer. So it pains us to report that a prominent energy law firm is closing up shop. Burleson LLP, headquartered in Houston, opened an office in Pittsburgh six years ago. Burleson founder and managing partner, Rick Burleson, announced to the firm on Monday that not only is he shutting down the Pittsburgh office, but ALL of the firm’s offices, including HQ in Houston. Why? The slowdown in the oil and gas sector. You don’t lose 233,000 jobs over the course of a year in a single industry without major ramifications for other businesses involved in that industry…
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Antis Try Last Desperate Ploy to Stop Cove Point LNG in Court

Dominion is working fast and furiously on constructing the Cove Point LNG export facility in Maryland. In fact, it’s now half done (see Dominion 3Q15: Progress on Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Cove Point LNG). Even though the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its blessing on the project, and even though Dominion suffered through something like 70+ federal, state and local permits to begin building, irrational anti-fossil fuel haters are still opposing the project. We told you how some of the most extreme among them endangered fans at an NFL game recently (see Cove Point Protesters Disrupt Monday Night Football Game on TV). Now comes word that several groups of nutters, including Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Potomac Riverkeeper, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper and others have filed a “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit that is trying to get the project stopped cold in its tracks…
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Platts Bentek: October NatGas Production Drops 1% from September

Each month the U.S. Energy Information Administration issues natural gas production figures–but it’s usually two months or more behind. The smart folks at Platts’ Bentek Energy subsidiary provide a much quicker (and accurate) estimate, typically beating the EIA’s estimate by at least a month. For example, Bentek recently issued their estimate of what natgas production for October was in the Lower 48 States. Bentek says October averaged 71.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), a decline of more than 0.5 Bcf/d, or 1%, from September’s production numbers. The EIA won’t even issue September’s “official” production numbers until Nov. 30. Here’s a good preview of what October numbers will show by the time EIA gets around to disclosing them…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Binghamton’s fractivist “reporter”; OH Utica permits soar in October; Invenergy electric plant in Jessup; rig count up in PA; New England nutters oppose pipelines; how bad is it for natgas?; and more!
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