Overraction by Antis to Unfelt Earthquake in Monroe County, OH

Early Sunday morning there was a low-level earthquake in Monroe County, OH–that literally nobody felt–but was picked up on seismic monitors by the U.S. Geological Survey. There was, according to the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) one fracking operation “near” the earthquake that ODNR shut down within an hour after the event–out of an abundance of caution. Immediately several radical anti-drilling groups, including the Ohio Environmental Council and the Sierra Club, jumped on the news and declared fracking unsafe and too risky in the nearby Wayne National Forest. With zero proof that it was tied to either fracking or wastewater injection wells. Here’s the news, and the way the news is being distorted by antis…
Continue reading

Judge Certifies Royalty Class Action Against EQT, CONSOL in VA

This is a story we have not previously covered on MDN. It goes back to 2010 and involves two of the biggest Marcellus/Utica drillers–although in this case the issue is not related to the Marcellus/Utica. Landowners in southwestern Virginia previously sued both EQT and CONSOL Energy’s CNX subsidiary over charges that EQT and CNX shorted landowners out of royalties owed to them, claiming post-production expenses, deductions for severance taxes, etc. that should not have been taken. The wells drilled were conventional wells–some 3,347 EQT wells and 4,261 CNX wells. The vertical wells targeted methane extraction from coal seams–not horizontal wells through shale, which is far more common today. Some lawsuits were green lighted as class action cases in 2013, with a potential for “thousands of landowners” to participate in sharing $30 million in payouts. Last week a federal judge certified three of the five class action lawsuits, allowing them to move forward…
Continue reading

More on Gas-Fired Elec Plant Coming to Center Port Terminal

A few weeks ago MDN reported on an upcoming meeting (to be held March 27) in Monroe County, OH to announce a new project to build a 485-megawatt Utica gas-fired electric plant (see Gas-Fired Plant (& Cracker?) Coming to Center Port Terminal in OH). The rumors circulating were that this plant may get built to power a new, mini-cracker plant in the region. MDN reader and friend Charles Winslow, owner of The Wells Inn in Sistersville, WV, attended the March 27 and reports a question came up at the meeting about the purpose for the power plant. The answer? According to the people building the project, they plan to sell the electricity on the open market–to the regional electric grid. No hidden motives in powering a mini-cracker. Charles filed this excellent report…
Continue reading

The 411 on the 9 Proposed Pipeline Projects in WV

West Virginia has become a hotbed of pipeline projects. You don’t realize it until you stand back and consider all of the proposed projects for major interstate natural gas (or gas liquids) pipelines. There are, in fact, nine such major projects on the board. Some of them either are, or soon will be, under construction. Not all of them are yet approved by their respective regulatory agencies–but most are. If we were to bet, we’d bet most of the nine will get built. Can you name all nine projects? Let us give you some help: Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley, Western Marcellus, WB XPress, Leach XPress, Mountaineer XPress, Buckeye XPress, Rover, and Appalachian Storage Hub. Actually that last one, the storage hub, is a series of six pipelines–but we lump them all into one project. Here’s a summary of each project, most of them coming soon to the Mountain State…
Continue reading

Antero WV Focus: Recycle Wastewater, More Pipes for Better Prices

Antero Resources is one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica. Antero can’t seem to buy enough Marcellus acreage, mostly in West Virginia. Last year the company snapped up close to 80,000 Marcellus acres, mostly in WV (see Antero Takes Southwestern to Cleaners in Deal for 55K Marc. Acres; Antero Resources Picks Up Another 13K Marcellus Acres for $108M; and Statoil Sells Another 11.5K WV Marcellus Acres to Antero for $96M). Antero has a major midstream division. Earlier this year they formed a joint venture with MarkWest to service 360,000 acres in WV (see Antero Forms JV with MarkWest to Service Combined 360K WV Acres). Antero also has a big water operation. Several years ago Antero spent $500 million to build an 80-mile fresh water pipeline from the Ohio River to Tyler and Ritchie counties in WV (see More on that Half Billion Dollar Antero Water Pipeline in WV). All to say (a) Antero is really big, and (b) Antero’s operations in WV are really important. We spotted an article that interviewed a number of people in the WV oil and gas community. Two of the interviewees were from Antero and shared insights into their latest thinking about Antero’s operations in WV, which we found interesting…
Continue reading

EXCO Resources Adds Dealmaker to Board – What Does it Mean?

EXCO Resources was once a sizable player in the Marcellus. They still have 145,000 net acres in the Marcellus, with 124 horizontal Marcellus wells drilled and in production. However, EXCO, as we pointed out a year ago, has abandoned the Marcellus at this point (see EXCO: No Marcellus Drilling in 2015/2016, NYSE Threatens Delisting). The company flirted with bankruptcy for some time. They were able to slow the bleeding in 2Q16 (see EXCO Still Hammering Midstreamers re Contracts, Bleeding Slowed). In 3Q16 EXCO finally turned a profit, going from losing $355 million in 3Q15 to making $51 million in 3Q16 (see EXCO 3Q16: Turns a Profit! Marcellus Production Continues to Fall). That was an astonishing turnaround for a company razor close to bankruptcy. However, the turnaround was short-lived. In 4Q16 the company lost $35 million (see EXCO Lost $225M in ’16; Screwing Shareholders to Avoid Bankruptcy). At the same time they released 4Q16 and full year numbers, EXCO also released a game plan to avoid bankruptcy. That plan? Effectively turning over control of the company to its creditors. We’re not sure if it’s the creditors, or EXCO top management, but someone wanted a new face on the board of directors, and EXCO now has it: Last week EXCO announced the appointment of Randall E. King to the board. Who is King and what does his appointment really mean?…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Apr 4, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: The implications of the Dimock verdict; Maryland Gov. Hogan’s “flexibility” on fracking; Gov. Cuomo pressures PSC to cover up clean energy costs; Supreme Court denies Trump effort to halt EPA water rule; Cheniere LNG export milestone; US shale – the new swing producer; and more!
Continue reading