Great Scott! Eclipse Drills New Longest Lateral in World – in Utica

Eclipse Resources, a Marcellus/Utica pure play driller headquartered in State College, PA that drills mostly in Ohio, has done it again. Yesterday as part of Eclipse’s first quarter 2017 update, the company announced it has broken its own record for drilling the longest land-based lateral well in the world by drilling a Utica well with a lateral that’s 19,300 feet long (3.7 miles). Incredible! You may recall Eclipse was the previous holder of that record with their Purple Hayes well (18,500 feet long), drilled one year ago (see Eclipse Res. 1Q16: Drills Longest Shale Well Ever! “Purple Hayes”). Eclipse seems to have taken a chapter from Rice Energy by naming their wells with creative names. Purple Hayes, named after the landowner (Hayes). The new record-holder? Great Scott–presumably named after the landowner (Scott). Eclipse reports drilling its newest record setting “Super-Lateral” well, the Great Scott 3H, with a total measured depth of 27,400 feet and completable lateral extension of 19,300 feet in less than 17 days from the drill bit hitting the ground to total depth (called spud to TD) in the company’s Utica Shale condensate area. If you’re an MDN subscriber, you were already expecting this big news. Back in April MDN editor Jim Willis attended the Oil & Gas Investment Symposium in New York City and reported on Eclipse’s session. At the time Jim reported: “They [Eclipse] plan to drill 11 “super lateral” wells that exceed 15,000 feet long. Two wells they hope to drill will break the existing Purple Hayes record–by going to 19,000 feet!” (see Eclipse Resources Touts Big ROI on Long Horizontal Shale Wells). Just a month later and the company is already delivering on its promise. Even bigger news: Eclipse is currently drilling a second well of the same length next to Great Scott! Below is the announcement about Great Scott (I & II), part of the Eclipse 1Q17 update. The latest slide deck included too…
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2nd NEPA County Attracting Business with Locally Produced Gas

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MDN has spotted what we believe is a rather ingenious trend in Northeastern Pennsylvania. One of the ongoing “problems” with drilling in gas-rich, rural counties like Susquehanna and Wyoming counties is that the gas gets extracted–and promptly exported out of the region via pipelines. Locals don’t have the option of tapping in to the cheap, abundant, clean-burning source that comes out of the ground beneath them. Susquehanna 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 early 2014 when they started to run pipelines to residences and businesses around Montrose (see PA Rural Residents Burn Marcellus Gas, Save Big Bucks on Heating). Last year Montrose held a business expo–an attempt to lure businesses to start or relocate in Montrose’s bucolic community. One of the key advantages? Hook up to cheap natural gas. It’s working. And that example is now being copied by neighboring Wyoming County, just to the south of Susquehanna County. The Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and UGI Energy Services are working on a deal to bring locally produced natural gas to residents and businesses in Wyoming’s largest “city”–Tunkhannock (population 1,836). The Chamber is trying to get a $1 million grant from the state to help defray the cost for locals to connect to a new pipeline system that will flow local gas…Continue reading

PA Protesters Protest Outside Mtg to Discuss Handling Protesters

This one has us spitting nails. We have reported, for months, about the activities of so-called protesters against Williams’ $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. In particular, there is a group in Lancaster County, PA opposing the pipeline creatively called Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP). Some of their members previously attended and participated in protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, ND–protests that turned violent and destroyed millions of dollars in equipment (see Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Turn Violent; Coming Here Next?). In February, the chief organizer of LAP, Mark Clatterbuck, who participated in the illegal activities in North Dakota last year, announced he intends to bring that kind of mayhem to Lancaster County (see PA Anti Hopes to Bring Standing Rock Disaster to Lancaster County). Clatterbuck set his plans in motion in March (see Protesters Try to Resurrect Failed ND Pipeline Fight in Lancaster). Let’s see, thousands of protesters illegally blocking construction workers, burning equipment, and taking shots at police officers. How does that all sound for Lancaster County? Not very good, according to local State Senator Scott Martin, who organized a closed-door meeting yesterday with area first responders and police, piping in a satellite feed from North Dakota officials to discuss what Lancaster might do to prevent what happened in North Dakota (see Lancaster Forum to Focus on Handling Anarchists in Pipeline Protest). The forum was held yesterday, and protesters were there to protest the meeting about how to handle protesters (kind of meta, isn’t it?). The protesters said it was “disrespectful” and “irresponsible” to plan how to avoid the disaster of Standing Rock. Does that beat all? Are these people actually lunatics escaped from an asylum? To not plan how to handle a sizable group of people (many of whom will come from out of the area) that plan to engage in breaking the law–is the height of irresponsibility. Kudos to Sen. Martin for protecting area residents, the environment, and the workers who will build the pipeline irregardless of the temper tantrums thrown by these adult children who claim to be protesters…Continue reading

Is New PA AG Shapiro Targeting Marcellus Industry like Kane Did?

Steve Santarsiero

We have some chilling and disturbing news to share with our fiends in the Marcellus industry in Pennsylvania. When Kathleen Kane, the now removed-from-office, former Attorney General of PA, took office in 2013, we speculated (based on her previous statements) whether or not she would target the drilling industry (see Will New PA AG Go After the Marcellus Drilling Industry?). Over the next several years, she did indeed target the industry, attempting to turn accidents into crimes (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO; PA’s Anti-Drilling AG Charges Minuteman with Enviro Crimes; and PA Attorney Gen. Kane Abuses Office Again, Arrest Warrant for EQT). Kane was later hoist with her own petard, jailed for a crime unrelated to the drilling industry (see PA’s Anti-Drilling AG Kathleen Kane Sentenced to Jail for Perjury). A fitting end to an undistinguished career. Kane’s successor, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, may be heading in the same direction as Kane by targeting the industry. Shapiro has just appointed an anti-driller, Steve Santarsiero, as Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Environmental Protection Section. It will be Santarsiero’s job to aggressively “prosecute cases against anyone or any company that breaks the law and harms our environment.” Santarsiero helped ban fracking on PA state land under former Gov. Ed “fast Eddie” Rendell…
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Chesapeake 1Q17 – Swings to Profit, Interest in Selling Marcellus?

Chesapeake Energy released its first quarter 2017 update yesterday. Chesapeake, the second largest natural gas producer in the United States, has its fingers in a lot of shale pies. But two of the key pies is the Marcellus and Utica. What does yesterday’s update tell us about Chessy’s involvement in the northeast? Utica production was down in 1Q17, from 138,000 barrels of oil equivalent in 1Q16 to 96,000 barrels in 1Q17. However, Marcellus production was up, slightly, from 134,000 barrels in 1Q16 to 146,000 barrels in 1Q17. Total production, across all of Chesapeake’s wells, dropped by 21% in 1Q17 versus a year ago. However, perhaps the biggest news is that Chessy seems to be out of the woods financially. In 1Q16 Chesapeake lost $1.1 billion. In 1Q17, the made (profited, in the black) $75 million–more than a huge $1.2 billion swing in just one year’s time. Kudos to Chesapeake CEO Doug “the ax” Lawler. And we’re laughing at corporate raider Carl Ichan–the guy who hired Lawler. Icahn bailed by selling his Chesapeake stock late last year (see Carl Ichan Sells Rest of his Chesapeake Stock, Good Riddance). He sold just in time for the company to turn a profit. Talk about poor timing. And everyone things Icahn is such a god when it comes to investing. Below are extracts from yesterday’s earnings call, where Lawler answers a question about whether or not he wants to sell Marcellus acreage, along with a full copy of the 1Q17 update and the latest PowerPoint slide deck…
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Rice Energy 1Q17 – $35M Loss, Production Soars 86%, Laser Focus

On Wednesday Rice Energy released its first quarter 2017 update, and yesterday the company held an earnings call to discuss it. On the down side, Rice continued to lose money during the quarter. Rice lost $21 million in 1Q16, and the loss widened to $35 million in 1Q17. But it seems to us the rest of the news they shared was pretty darned good. Production soared–from 61.4 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) in 1Q16, to 114.5 Bcfe in 1Q17–an 86% increase year over year (vast majority of that was natural gas). Rice’s lateral length now measures over 9,000 feet on average. In 1Q17 Rice added 2,000 Marcellus acres and 2,000 Utica acres to its portfolio, and the company says it’s on track to add a total of 15,000 acres this year. During 1Q17, Rice brought 15 new Marcellus wells online, and 10 new Utica wells. Rice CEO Dan Rice, on the earnings call, said (our words) while everyone is zigging, they like to zag. While everyone else is trying to buy up acreage all over Hades half acre, Rice prefers to concentrate and narrow its focus on truly prime locations that will produce stellar wells. Dan also said the company is in the catbird seat when it comes to new pipelines coming online over the next several years. We’ll explain. Below are excerpts from the earnings call, the 1Q17 update (with financials), and the latest PowerPoint slide deck…
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Dominion 1Q17 – Updates on Cove Point, Atlantic Coast Pipe & More

Yesterday midstream and utility giant Dominion issued its first quarter 2017 update. Along with the update Dominion held an earnings call. On that call we learned new information about both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project, Dominion’s Cove Point LNG export project, and a plethora of other projects, including natgas-fired power plants and more pipelines in the works. Dominion CEO Tom Farrell shared the exciting news that Cove Point is now 89% complete and will be “in service” later this year. As for Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dominion has now purchased 80% of the materials they will need to build it. Farrell said the pipeline will be online in the second half of 2019. Another six pipeline projects are underway (at a cost of $700 million)–with five of the six due to be done THIS YEAR. Dominion is a happening company. Below are extracts from the earnings call, the 1Q17 update (with financials), and the newest PowerPoint slide deck used during the earnings call…
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Congress Considers Expanding FERC Authority to Fix Pipe Approvals

The U.S. The House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on Wednesday to hear testimony on a proposed plan to grant the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) more authority to speed up the pipeline approval process. Up for discuss is an amendment to the Natural Gas Act to grant FERC more authority in coordinating what is, admittedly, a complex review process. A more powerful FERC would, for example, likely be able to override states like New York that refuse to grant water crossing permits (permits that are issued under a federal law!). Don Santa, executive director of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, was one of the people testifying before the assembled Congressmen. He said things have gotten pretty bad over the past two years–yes with FERC, but also with other federal and state agencies. Here’s some of what was said at the hearing…
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Getting More Gas & Oil from Shale – Important New Research

Did you know that even with our super-productive fracking methods, we still only pull out an estimated 5% of oil found in shale, and an estimated 20% of natural gas? That’s abysmal! Can’t we do better? Indeed, perhaps we can. Shale oil and gas is locked up in teeny tiny pores in shale rock–very small “pockets” if you want to think of it that way. The reason we don’t currently do a better job of accessing more of those small pockets is lack of understanding in how fluids flow through these small pores, which measure nanometers across. It takes one billion nanometers to make up one meter, or roughly three feet. Exciting new research shared this week in the journal Physics of Fluids sheds new light on the physics of fluids flowing through shale rock. The research paper, “Many-body dissipative particle dynamics modeling of fluid flow in fine-grained nanoporous shales” (full copy below). This new research means we are on the path to learning how to extract even more oil and gas from the same shale rock. Now that’s something to celebrate!…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, May 5, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Shell nears completion of tree planting around cracker site; WV gas tax revenue on the increase; federal oil and gas leases can boost government revenue; nuclear and petroleum battle over subsidies; the future for Phillips 66 is pipelines and chemicals; is petchem industry approaching max capacity; OPEC’s oil price gains wiped out by shale boom; shale producer using artificial intelligence; and more!
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