New Marcellus/Utica Drilling Company is Born – LOLA Energy

lola energyIt’s not often we have the pleasure of announcing the birth of a new company–in particular a new drilling company in the Marcellus/Utica in what has to be the worst economic conditions in a generation in the industry. But, pop the cork on the champagne and break out the cigars! A group of former EQT executives have just launched LOLA Energy with a $250 million investment from private equity firm Denham Capital. The new company is headquartered in Wexford (Pittsburgh area), PA and has already begun leasing land in the Marcellus/Utica. Company execs say they expect to create 10 to 20 new jobs in the Pittsburgh area over the next year. LOLA’s CEO is Jim Crockard, former senior vice president in charge of production for EQT. The strategy of the fledgling company is to pick up good properties cast off by other drillers because there’s not enough money (or enough profit) to drill in this low price environment…
Continue reading

Packed Meeting in Towanda Discusses Chesapeake Royalty Settlement

Last week MDN told you about a very important class action lawsuit that is about to be settled against Chesapeake Energy. It’s called the “Demchak” case and it involves thousands of Pennsylvania landowners who are currently, or even formerly, signed with Chesapeake (see Decision-time for Landowners in Demchak/Chesapeake Royalty Case). Landowners are automatically part of the settlement unless they opt out by December 17. A big confab was held last Wednesday (Dec. 2) at the Towanda (Bradford County), PA High School. It was a packed house with ~650 landowners attending. MDN had our very own reporter, Johnny Williams, on the scene. He files the following report, with important information for landowners…
Continue reading

Letter Writing War Erupts Over Jessup, PA Gas-Fired Power Plant

An interesting back and forth in letters to the editor of the Democrat-run Scranton Times-Tribune over the proposed electric generating plant in Jessup, PA. As MDN has previously chronicled, Chicago-based Invenergy hopes to build what will be the largest (to date) electric generating plant in the state of Pennsylvania powered by natural gas (see Public Hearing on NEPA Proposed Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant). Invenergy hopes to build the 1300-megawatt plant in the borough of Jessup (Lackawanna County), near Scranton. In very basic and simple terms, local Democrat anti-drillers (who hate fossil fuels of any kind) are against the plant, and local clear-thinking Republicans are in favor of this clean-burning, jobs-producing, economy-stimulating project. Recently a ginned-up “controversy” over the plant took to the editorial pages of the Times-Tribune. Here’s the (so far) back and forth between two antis and one pro…
Continue reading

New Pipeline Threading/Inspection Facility Opening Near Wheeling

Yes, new businesses do start up to serve the Marcellus/Utica industry–even in this down cycle. And they’re successful. The latest example comes from the Wheeling, WV area where a new state-of-the-art facility is starting up in Benwood to “inspect and place threading on pipe used to carry natural gas.” JLE Industries, based in Dunbar, PA, is investing $6 million to convert the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel facility into a facility opening in January that will, when fully operational, employ 45 people…
Continue reading

EIA Dec. DPR: NatGas Production Decrease Slows, Utica Still Champ

On Monday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite government report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The December report predicts what production will show in the month of January for both oil and natural gas from the seven biggest commercial shale plays in the U.S. This new report, while showing most plays will once again produce less natgas in January than they will in December, the amount of drop-off is decreasing. That is, the cuts in production are slowing down–as a whole and in the Marcellus. Once again the Utica will produce MORE natgas in January than it will in December–increasing by 67 addition million cubic feet month over month. The Utica rules! Of course, the Utica only produces about 20% of the production being pumped out by the Marcellus. But still, month after month its creeping up on the Mighty Marcellus…
Continue reading

Is the Halliburton Buyout of Baker Hughes in Trouble?

Is the Halliburton/Baker Hughes wedding in trouble? Last time we checked in (in September) both companies were holding garage sales to dump business units to comply with regulators’ concerns over anti-competitiveness (see Halliburton/Baker Hughes Hold a Pre-Merger Garage Sale). Halliburton is attempting to buy Baker Hughes in a deal worth $34.6 billion (see Shotgun Wedding: Halliburton Forces Baker Hughes to Sell). The shotgun wedding was supposed to happen by the end of this year, then got pushed into early next year. Halliburton has experienced a series of “headaches” with their proposed buyout of Baker Hughes. Now the headaches are, according to one source, turning into a migraine. Yesterday the country of Brazil lodged complaints and concerns over the proposed merger. Brazil’s opposition alone would not be enough to sink the deal–but Brazil’s opposition combined with opposition coming from other sources just may be enough…
Continue reading

Dominion’s Northern VA NatGas Electric Plant an Award Winner

A natural gas-powered electric generating plant in northern Virginia that MDN told you about more than four years ago is now an award winner. In September 2011 MDN told you that Dominion would build a huge new electric plant, powered by Marcellus Shale gas (see Marcellus is “Game Changer” for New Electric Power Plants). The 1,329-megawatt Warren County Power Station entered into commercial operation on December 10th, 2014. The natural gas-fired power station, located just north of Front Royal, VA, can produce enough electricity to power about 325,000 homes at peak demand. The plant is among the cleanest fossil-fuel fired facilities in the nation, using three combustion turbines and a steam turbine. This clean-burning, environmentally-friendly FOSSIL FUEL PLANT was named Gas-Fired Project of the Year for 2015 by the editors at Power Engineering and Renewable Energy World magazines…
Continue reading

Susquehanna County Residents Love Burning Locally Produced Gas

Susquehanna County, PA, which sits just across the border from where MDN is written in Broome County, NY, is one of the miracles in the Marcellus Shale. Cabot Oil & Gas, among a few other drillers, have extensive operations in Susquehanna County. In fact, all of Cabot’s PA wells are located in that one county, and Cabot produces (at last check) over 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas PER DAY. It’s an amazing story. One of the ironies has always been that rural counties like Susquehanna that produce natural gas often aren’t able to use the gas they produce due to lack of pipeline infrastructure. The entire county has 43,000 residents (11,700 families). The largest “city” in Susquehanna County is the county seat of Montrose, population 1,600 (750 households). It’s just not all that economical to run natural gas pipelines to homes around the county–even though residents live atop an embarrassing riches of natural gas. One company, Leatherstocking Natural Gas, changed all that in late 2013 when they started to run pipelines to residences and businesses around Montrose. How has it turned out? The people who are hooked up and burning Marcellus gas locally produced have high praise…
Continue reading

EIA: NatGas Production AND Consumption Hits All-Time High in 2015

Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released their Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) for December. With respect to EIA’s natgas predictions, they say natgas production in 2015 will reach a record-high of 79.58 billion cubic feet per day of production, which will top 2014’s record of 74.89 Bcf/d. The EIA also says U.S. natgas consumption will rise to 76.49 Bcf/d, topping 2014’s record of 73.14 Bcf/d. More interesting facts and predictions from the EIA…
Continue reading

5th Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest Now Accepting Applications

Once again the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center (SGICC) is back with their annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest. This is the fifth annual contest and four winners will split an $80,000 prize purse. It’s time to enter the contest! Any idea OR already commercialized product/service related to the shale energy space is eligible. ANY. Examples include: well pad EH&S products/services, novel materials or chemicals (to enhance performance, prevent corrosion, or improve product yield), remote site monitoring technologies, natural gas or NGL conversion technologies, and water management or remediation technologies. Why not enter your product or service? Details below…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Dec 9, 2015

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: EQT, strong and growing; northeast rigs continue to slide; despite drilling slowdown, rents remain high; PA already pays tax on drilling; Energy Sec says oil industry will recover; Kinder Morgan goes over a cliff; investors aren’t “convinced” re Chesapeake; glimmer of hope in the oil price crash; and more!
Continue reading