Close-up on Petrogas Co: A New Player in the Ohio Utica?

A couple of weeks ago four companies won bids on 17 parcels totaling 719 acres of federal land (for Utica Shale drilling) in the Ohio Wayne National Forest (see OH Wayne National Forest – List of Auction Winners). We recognized three of the winners: Eclipse Resources, Flat Rock Development, and Gulfport Energy. But we didn’t recognize the fourth as a Utica driller: Petrogas Company. Then we spotted a couple of press releases from Petrogas touting their first “successfully purchased two oil and gas leases in the Eastern States” with the added statement they are “looking forward to exploring the potential in this area.” Petrogas says in its press release that it is an exploration and production company (E&P, or what we call a driller) “focused on the acquisition of properties in areas with significant oil reserves and drilling potential.” So we began to dig. First, the land Petrogas leased in WNF amounts to a grand total of 3.7 acres, for which they paid the princely sum of $2,705.50. No, they won’t be drilling on 3.7 acres any time soon. Then we further dug and discovered that Petrogas is a Chinese-backed company with an office in Houston, TX, that started life as an entertainment company and is operated by what appears to be one guy. A guy who apparently knows how to publish press releases that sound big and and important…
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REX Pipe Completes Expansion Today, 2.6 Bcf/d Flowing East-to-West

The Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), originally built from Colorado and Wyoming to Monroe County, OH to bring natural gas from west to east, last year reversed the flow for a large and important section of the pipeline. On August 1, 2015 the section of REX from Monroe County, OH to Mexico, MO reversed the flow and began to carry 1.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of Utica and Marcellus Shale gas to the Midwest, including to the greater Chicago area. REX has been hard at work on plans to expand capacity even more by beefing up compressor stations along portions of the pipeline. REX filed a plan with FERC to add another 800 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of capacity along the same portion of the reversed pipeline–for a grand total of 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). In mid-December, the first 200 MMcf/d of capacity came online (see Reversed REX Pipeline Goes from 1.8 Bcf to 2.0 Bcf). A week later another 250 MMcf/d was brought online (see REX Pipeline Adds Yet More Capacity, Now Flowing Extra 450 MMcf/d). Beginning today, the final 350 MMcf/d is coming online. REX is now flowing 2.6 Bcf/d of Utica/Marcellus gas to Chicagoland and beyond…
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Residents Pack County Bd Mtg re Atlantic Coast Compressor Stn

As MDN reported earlier this week, on the last business day of 2016 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable draft (not final, but draft) environmental impact statement (EIS) for the $5 billion, 594-mile Dominion Atlantic Coast Pipeline project (see FERC Gives Atlantic Coast Pipeline Thumbs Up, Antis Pitch a Fit). Atlantic Coast is a natural gas pipeline being built by Dominion that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. As part of the project, the pipeline will need several large compressor stations–one of them in Buckingham County, VA. Area residents packed a small meeting room last night to express their concerns over the compressor station. We have a few thoughts about that meeting and what was said…
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NG Advantage’s “Virtual” NatGas Pipeline to Maine Begins Flowing

In Oct. 2015 MDN reported a story about International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill in northern New York, near the Vermont border (see NY Paper Plant Opts for “Virtual” NatGas Pipeline Over Real One). The plant had converted to using natural gas–yet there are no natgas pipelines to be found in the region. International Paper planned to build a pipeline from Vermont to feed the plant as a permanent solution. In the meantime, it was using a “virtual pipeline” of a constant stream of trucks delivering compressed natural gas (CNG) from NG Advantage (subsidiary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp.), trucking CNG to the plant 24/7. International liked the CNG trucking operation so much, and disliked the regulatory hassles of building a pipeline so much, they decided to keep the virtual pipeline over a real one as a permanent solution. Cool story. NG Advantage, the hero in this story, continues to expand. Last November they picked up a new CEO, and at the tail end of last year, the company expanded beyond Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and began delivering CNG via their virtual pipeline trucks to customers in the state of Maine…
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Beck Energy Seeks to Lease Middle School Property in Munroe Falls

Over the past four years MDN has monitored and reported on conventional driller Beck Energy and their ongoing difficulties with attempting to drill in Munroe Falls (Summit County), OH. You can see our list of stories stretching back to February 2013 here. In a nutshell, Munroe Falls has attempted to use “home rule” (i.e. their own oil and gas regulations) to stop Beck cold from doing any drilling within the municipality. When doctored zoning regs didn’t work, Munroe Falls embarked on a course of filing frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. The latest one failed (see Summit County Judge Blocks Munroe Falls’ Attempt to Stop Drilling). So imagine our delight, and the recalcitrant Munroe Falls leaders’ horror, to learn that Beck Energy now wants to drill a new conventional well–and they need a few acres from the neighboring Kimpton Middle School to do it!…
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Law Firm Norton Rose Fulbright Closing Pittsburgh Marcellus Office

A couple of times we’ve highlighted the great work done by the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm, most recently just last month (see Updated List of Proposed Laws in PA-OH-WV Affecting Marcellus/Utica). Researchers at the law firm issue a quarterly legislative action update looking at bills and laws previously voted on, and new bills/laws introduced, affecting the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Very impressive. So we were distressed to learn that Norton Rose Fulbright is closing its Marcellus/Utica office in Pittsburgh, with plans to cover the region from its other offices. It is a big firm, with more than 3800 lawyers and other legal staff based in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. They opened their Pittsburgh office in 2011 with a eye on grabbing business from the PA Marcellus. We can only conclude that didn’t work out so well…
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Enviro Radicals at NRDC Declare War Against Trump Administration

Spitting and spouting about so-called renewables and nasty, evil, vile fossil fuels, the head of the extremist Natural Resources Defense Council is trash-talking the incoming Trump Administration even before it takes up residence in Washington. Typical. According to Rhea Suh, a Donald Trump presidency equals the end of a liveable earth. We invite Ms. Suh to relocated to Mars, or perhaps one of the moons of Jupiter. Here’s some of the insane ramblings from the NRDC earlier this week in declaring war on the Trump Administration…
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EIA Annual Energy Outlook: US is Net Energy Exporter Within 10 Yrs

The United States is already on the cusp of energy independence, thanks to the shale revolution. What does that mean? It means when you consider how much energy we produce and export, and how much we consume and import, at the end of the day, we are producing as much energy as we consume. But it gets complicated. We still import a lot of oil from the Middle East and elsewhere. We import (and export) oil via pipelines to Canada. We also still import natural gas. But at some point the U.S. will export more than it imports. That is, we won’t only produce as much as we consume, we’ll produce extra energy–and sell it abroad to other countries. We will become a “net exporter.” When will that happen? According our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), it will happen in the next 10 years–or less. The EIA has just released its “Annual Energy Outlook 2017” (full copy below). In the report the number crunchers at EIA look at multiple scenarios and conclude that under most scenarios we are a net exporter by 2026, and in some of those scenarios, it happens even sooner. That would be the first time since 1953 that our country has exported more energy than it uses. Not surprisingly, LNG (liquefied natural gas) plays a critical role in our country becoming a net exporter. Here’s what the EIA said in releasing the 2017 annual report…
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API Annual Report: Production Up, Environment Cleaner, Thx to Gas

The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) president and CEO, Jack Gerard, delivered the keynote address at API’s Seventh Annual State of American Energy event in Washington, DC on Wednesday. At the same event the API released the “State of American Energy 2017” report (full copy below) highlighting the energy issues that will shape America’s economic and political news this year. Gerard says we have now fully debunked the insane ramblings of the environmental left in this country, proving that we can grow our energy use and our energy production, while at the same time creating a cleaner environment. According to the EIA, in the first six months of 2016, carbon emissions from electricity generation were at their lowest point in 25 years even as electricity demand rose–thanks to greater use of natural gas. Below are highlights of Gerard’s speech along with a copy of the newly released report…
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Weaponized EPA has Its Own SWAT Team, Drones & Special Agents

We are speechless (and that doesn’t happen often). Get a load of this: “A new report from transparency watchdog group Open the Books documents an explosion in the number of federal agencies with gun-toting, badge-wielding law enforcement divisions. The report, called “The Militarization of America” [full copy below] details the astonishing scope of federal police power. There are now over 200,000 federal officers with arrest and firearm authority, in a whopping 67 different federal agencies….We all understand that the EPA is tasked with enforcing environmental laws. But does it really need a full-blown military-style police force? Congress granted the EPA police powers in 1988, but not with SWAT teams in mind. Even now, the agency says its Criminal Enforcement Program ‘enforces the nation’s laws by investigating cases, collecting evidence, conducting forensic analyses, and providing legal guidance to assist in the prosecution of criminal conduct that threatens people’s health and the environment.’ Well yes, but also by midnight raids with SWAT teams and attack dogs, confiscating private property, hauling people off to jail for accidentally spilling a barrel of oil, and other ‘enforcement’ horrors”…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Jan 6, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: NY’s renewable energy plan creating energy poor; Vallourec rebounds as rig counts rise; OH Utica rig count edges up; meet the group (that nobody knows) influencing Trump’s energy policies; court delays appeal over Obama fracking rule; Congressman says “swift action” coming to replace o&g methane rules; ExxonMobil’s new natgas deydrating tech; and more!
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