Stone Energy Enters Bankruptcy, Sells Marc/Utica Assets for $350M

Stone EnergyStone Energy, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (E&P) headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana drills mainly in the Gulf of Mexico but also has a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 90,000 acres of leases. Last year Stone quit drilling in the northeast and actually shut-in part of their production due to low prices (see Stone Energy 3Q15: Shut Down 110 Mmcfe/d of Marcellus Production). In June Stone cut a new midstream gathering agreement with Williams to return some of their shut-in Marcellus wells to full production (see Stone Energy Opens Marcellus Spigots Again; New Midstream Deal). In April MDN told you Stone was (in our opinion) inching toward bankruptcy (see Stone Energy Appoints Special Liaison, Inches Toward Bankruptcy?). In August MDN tipped you off that Stone is looking to unload their Marcellus/Utica assets (see Stone Energy in Talks to Sell 90K Acres of Marcellus Leases/Wells). Both bits of news have come true. Last Thursday Stone issued an announcement that the company, like others before it, has cut a deal to file a “prepackaged” bankruptcy AND sell its Marcellus/Utica assets to Tug Hill for $350 million…
Continue reading

Expert Predicts WV-OH Lease Renewals Going Down Significantly

trending-down.jpgTim Greene is owner of Land & Mineral Management of Appalachia and a former West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection inspector. He knows a thing or two about leasing and drilling in the Mountain State. As part of a recent article, Greene was asked about the many leases signed five years ago that are coming up for renewal (or release). Greene said five years ago landowners in WV and OH were getting signing bonuses of $5,000 per acre and more, with royalties going as high as 20%. As those leases come up for renewal, Greene cautions landowners that they won’t see anywhere near those terms if they sign again. What will they see?…
Continue reading

This Week Last Chance to Pass PA Royalty Bill – Slim to No Chance

Grunge Stempel rot LAST CHANCEWe’ve written a number of stories about Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1391 that would guarantee landowners receive a 12.5% minimum royalty on the gas extracted from their land, regardless of post-production costs. The issue has led to what MDN calls a civil war between landowners (particularly in Bradford County, PA) and the drilling industry. The clock is ticking and this week is it for this legislative session in PA. If supporters of HB 1391 don’t get the bill passed this week, it will have to be reintroduced and go through the entire process again next year. Supporters like Doug McLinko, a Bradford County commissioner, have warned of serious consequences for the industry if the bill doesn’t get passed. The industry appears to have convinced enough lawmakers to keep the bill bottled up so it doesn’t come to the floor for a vote, which riles landowners. HB 1391’s supporters in the legislature are sounding like it’s already over for this year, and that they will have to fight again next year. We’re concerned what this ongoing situation will do for what has, in the past, been good relations between landowners and drillers. That relationship appears to be souring, at least for some landowners…
Continue reading

Antis Build Magic Tree House to Block Atlantic Sunrise Pipe

mth_website1Inspired by the criminal actions of eco-terrorists in North Dakota (see Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Turn Violent; Coming Here Next?), anti-pipeline zealots in Lancaster County, PA figured they would give some of the tactics from the Dakotas a try here. So they’ve constructed a shed on stilts right along the proposed path of the forthcoming Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. The shed on stilts looks like a big tree house (without the tree), which makes sense as the protesters are the equivalent of seven year-old, petulant, spoiled children. Why not give themselves a magic tree house to hang out in and talk about the glory days of protesting Vietnam…er…ah…pipelines. The nutters have a Holy Cause–stop the use of all fossil fuels. This is the way they intend to enforce their dystopian vision on the rest of us, by illegal acts…
Continue reading

Columbiana County, OH Pep Talk: Drilling Will Ramp Back Up

pep-talkThe Ohio Oil & Gas Association’s (OOGA) director of public relations recently attended and spoke at a meeting of the Columbiana County Port Auhority. His words for Columbiana County? Drilling will (eventually) return to the county in bigger numbers. He said drilling has never really stopped in the county–it’s just slowed down, a lot. But that trend will reverse sooner or later. The county is blessed with wet gas, but wet gas (natural gas liquids, or NGLs) has currently fallen out of favor. That too shall pass. Here’s a bit of the pep talk OOGA gave at the meeting, with a good description of Utica drilling in Columbiana County and the many benefits of drilling in the county…
Continue reading

Propageddon: Chesapeake “Unleashes Hell” with Sand in LA Gas Well

Chesapeake EnergyLast week Jason Pigott, vice president of operations for Chesapeake Energy, addressed analysts at a conference and disclosed that the company ran an experiment by pumping 25,000 tons (i.e. 50 million pounds) of sand down a single shale well bore. Incredible! And they found by doing so that output from the well was 70% higher than it normally would have been. Sand acts as a proppant to “prop open” cracks and holes in the fractured rock, allowing gas trapped in small pockets to escape. Chessy is calling the experiment “propageddon.” Catchy. At the conference Pigott said, “What we’re doing is unleashing hell on every gas molecule downhole.” Strong words! The well they tried it with is located in Louisiana. We highlight this story because what they learn there will no doubt come to the Marcellus/Utica as well…
Continue reading

Will TransCanada’s Lower Pipeline Rates Jeopardize Nexus/Rover?

low-offerTwo weeks ago MDN told you that TransCanada is attempting to block Marcellus/Utica gas from entering the eastern Canadian market by lowballing pipeline transportation costs from western Canada (see TransCanada Launches Open Season to Lowball Marcellus/Utica Gas). How much are they lowballing? TransCanada is offering transportation costs of $0.66 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). The proposed Nexus pipeline, which crosses Ohio and connects to a pipeline in Michigan that would go on from there to Canada, is charging $1.21/Mcf. The proposed Rover pipeline which also would connect to Canada is charging $1.01/Mcf. An BTU Analytics analyst does a deep dive and asks the question (our words, not hers): Will TransCanada’s lowball prices kill the Nexus and/or Rover?…
Continue reading

Greenpeace Boss: Fracking the “Only Solution to Energy Problems”

greenpeaceHere’s a story you have to go to a non-US (i.e. objective) newspaper to find. Stephen Tindale is a “lifelong green” and once ran the organization Greenpeace, for five years. He’s written and published an op-ed in the UK Sun titled, “As a lifelong Green, I’M convinced fracking’s the only solution to energy problems.” You read that right! Here’s someone with a brain–someone willing to open his mind and willing to objectively view the evidence before his eyes. And what does he see? Fracking shale formations is the answer, not the problem. Here’s what he said last week…
Continue reading

Report: What If the U.S. was Forced to Pay EU Energy Prices?

Chamber of CommerceThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently launched a “What If…?” series to counter the radical “keep it in the ground” movement–a movement that irrationally hates the use of fossil fuels. In August the Chamber released their first such report, titled “What If…Energy Production was Banned on Federal Lands and Waters?” (see Chamber Report Details Why ‘Keep it in the Ground’ a Disaster). In Sept. they released their second report, What If…America’s Energy Renaissance Never Happened? (see Report: What If America’s Energy Renaissance Never Happened?). The Chamber is back with an important new third report that asks and answers the important question: What Would Happen if the U.S. Was Forced to Pay Europe’s prices for Energy? Hint: It ain’t pretty…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Oct 24, 2016

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: More northeast pipelines bring questions; the staying power of shale revolution; the intolerance of fractivism; Amtran commits to CNG; CT court to rule on gas expansion; Texas unicorn preps for oil IPO; natgas prices head higher; energy industry “exceptionally safe” despite media hype; Obama sides with crazies on methane rule; Saudis say they are “doomed for bankruptcy”; and more!
Continue reading