Lease Offer in Harrison County, WV: $1500/Acre + 14% Royalties

It’s not often we read about lease offers these days. We’re sure they happen regularly, but the only ones you read about are offers made to lease publicly owned land. Such offers for public land are a useful gauge for private landowners. So when we noticed a story about an offer made by Arsenal Resources to the North Central West Virginia Airport (Bridgeport), our eyes and ears perked up. The opening offer is for 188.5 acres (out of 500 acres) with a $1,500 per acre signing bonus and 14% royalty on anything produced. The Benedum Airport Authority, charged with managing the airport and property, told the Authority’s attorney to counter offer–they want 15% royalties…Continue reading

MDN Guide to the PA DEP 2016 Annual Oil & Gas Report

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) yesterday published its 2016 Oil and Gas Annual Report. This year the DEP has published the report in an interactive, electronic (i.e.online) format ONLY, with a stated purpose “to improve public access to well information.” This is the first time the report has been published electronically. While it’s interesting to have the report issued online only, it’s not as useful as a PDF or printed document, in our humble opinion. DEP Acting Secretary Pat McDonnell said, “Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country and one of the most transparent states in making oil and gas data publicly accessible. Making the Annual Report completely digital is just the next step in our continued effort to share as much information as possible.” We’ll give the DEP an “A” for effort, but a “C” for execution. What does the report show? The number of unconventional (shale) well drilling permits issued in 2016 decreased 59% since 2014. The total number of conventional well drilling permits issued in 2016 decreased 87% since 2014. It is a dramatic drop. There were 1,321 unconventional well drilling permits issued in 2016, and 158 conventional well drilling permits issued in 2016. Even though the number of permits to drill new wells dropped from 2015 to 2016, the number of well inspections hit an all-time high in 2016–some 35,556 inspections. The boys and girls at the DEP have been busy beavers. Below we have the DEP announcement about the new report and its format, along with select charts & information–so you don’t have to wade through the (somewhat confusing) report yourself. We call it the MDN Guide to PA’s 2016 Oil and Gas Annual Report…
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Ultra Petroleum 1Q17 – Holding on to 72K Marcellus Acres, for Now

Ultra Petroleum, based in Houston, TX, is an independent exploration and production (E&P) company mainly focused on drilling in the Green River Basin of Wyoming. Ultra also drills for oil in the Uinta Basin/Three Rivers area in Utah. In addition, Ultra maintains a “non-operated” (someone else does the drilling) position in the Pennsylvania Marcellus shale with leases on 72,000 net acres–no small amount. One year ago, in April 2016, Ultra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (see Ultra Petroleum (with 184K Marcellus Acres) Files for Bankruptcy). A year later, Ultra announced it has emerged from bankruptcy, raising nearly $3 billion to pay back creditors and floating 195 million shares of new stock (see Ultra Petroleum Does Bankruptcy Right, Exits with Higher Value). The company is worth more today than when it entered bankruptcy. Talk about engineering a turnaround! Ultra shows other E&Ps how to do a bankruptcy “right.” A few weeks back Ultra issued its first quarter 2017 update. While the official update itself doesn’t mention Ultra’s Marcellus acreage, the earnings call did. We learn more about Ultra’s attitude and future plans for their Marcellus holdings from comments made by Ultra CEO Michael Watford. We also get more details about the company’s Marcellus holdings from the accompanying slide deck used during the earnings call…
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Digital H2O Comes to the Marcellus/Utica

Digital H2O is a “digital oilfield water management solutions company.” What the heck does that mean? Water is not only the key ingredient in life, it’s also the key ingredient in the shale industry. It takes a lot of water to drill and frack a shale well. Locating sources for that water, getting it shipped to and then from a well pad, and disposing of it, is a logistical challenge. Digital H2O helps helps drillers source water, transport it, and dispose of it–at a cheaper cost than they otherwise could have. Digital H2O accomplishes this magic with a sophisticated computer software program–populated with all sorts of information (i.e. data). Until now, Digital H2O has concentrated its service on the Permian and Bakken shale regions in Texas, North Dakota, and New Mexico. The company has now turned its attention to the Pennsylvania Marcellus and now offers it service in our neck of the woods…Continue reading

Dela. Riverkeeper Asks Senate to Delay FERC Nomination Hearings

Maya van Rossum – THE Delaware Riverkeeper

President Trump, who will not be impeached, regardless of what press whores on fake news outlets like CNN say, recently nominated two extremely qualified people to be Federal Energy Regulatory commissioners (see Trump Nominates 2 New FERC Commissioners – Powelson & Chatterjee). As we pointed out in a story yesterday, liberal Democrats have been hounding Trump for months to nominate new commissioners–so they could begin grandstanding against them (see Now We Know: Lib Dems Wanted FERC Nominees for Grandstanding). Washington is sick. Radical environmentalists have NOT wanted any new nominees, because they want FERC neutered and unable to vote on new pipeline projects. One of the worst of the worst in the campaign to keep FERC in a quorumless state is THE Delaware Riverkeeper–Maya van Rossum. Riverkeeper is a front organization for the William Penn Foundation–created to shield William Penn from losing its nonprofit status for engaging in outright political activities like its opposition to fracking and fossil fuels (see Dela. Riverkeeper Protects Wm. Penn Foundation’s Tax Exemption). Maya continues to do her masters’ bidding. In a letter to the U.S. Senate dated May 15, van Rossum, pretending to represent “national organizations,” asks the Senate to slow down and even block Trump’s two FERC nominees…
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Tiresome: Philly RINO Rep Gene DiGirolamo Intros Severance Tax Again

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo

Pennsylvania State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, a Republican-in-Name-Only (RINO) from the Philadelphia area, has been trying to punish the Marcellus industry in the state since 2011 when he first introduced legislation to impose a Marcellus-killing severance tax. And pretty much every year since then he has re-introduced a severance tax bill. Sometimes it’s for 3.2%. Other times 4.9% (see our DiGirolamo stories here). It appears he just plucks a number out the air and goes with it. DiGirolamo is back with yet another such plan. He has just introduced House Bill (HB) 1401, which would slap a 3.2% severance tax on all shale gas production. The socialist CLEAR Coalition–which advocates theft of other people’s money to fund their favorite “public” causes–held a rally to support the thefty HB 1401. RINO DiGirolamo showed up, the only “Republican” to do so. All of the other officials present were liberal Democrats. What does that tell you about this bill and its sponsor?…Continue reading

New Study: 1 Million New Jobs Coming in Gas/Oil Thru 2035

A couple of weeks ago the American Petroleum Institute (API) released a new study that shows private investment in U.S. natural gas and oil infrastructure could (and likely will) create over 1 million new U.S. jobs. That is an incredible number! The study also shows that private investment may exceed $1.3 trillion for new oil and natural gas infrastructure. Wow! Over the past five years, U.S. oil and gas infrastructure development proceeded at a rapid pace. Many have wondered whether the trend can continue. API wondered too, so they contracted the experts at ICF to undertake a study that investigates the amount of oil and gas infrastructure development possible in the U.S. through 2035. The result is the report, “U.S. Oil and Gas Infrastructure Investment Through 2035” (full copy below). The report focuses on the amount of infrastructure needed for two different scenarios, a Base Case and a High Case, each of which are plausible scenarios for future market conditions. While the Base Case represents a most likely scenario, the High Case is included to assess infrastructure development in a more robust environment that is fostered by a larger hydrocarbon resource base and more rapid advancements in technology. The study looks at capital expenditures associated with, and the resulting economic consequences of, oil and gas infrastructure development…Continue reading

Google Needs to Crack Down on Fake Fractivist News

Back in June 2015, MDN told you about an edgy new pro-fracking website called FrackFeed.com–designed along the lines of BuzzFeed, a news and entertainment site aimed at Millennials (see FrackFeed Site Uses Pop Culture to Spread Truth about Fracking). FrackFeed, like BuzzFeed, contains short, “pithy” articles–but in FrackFeed’s case the articles respond to and expose the lies peddled by anti-drillers, using humor. The format is meant to be easily “consumed” on a smart phone and shared with others. Of course the “cool, hipster” anti-drilling nutters are flustered that pro-drillers are turning one of their own tools against them–exposing them for the humorless mind-numbed robots they are. We love it when someone figures out how to get under their skin! The FrackFeed hipsters have done it again. On May 8, FrackFeed sent an open letter to the mighty Google, asking Google to monitor and demote fake fracktivist news. Love it! Facebook and Google have recently initiated campaigns to label so-called fake news (a VERY disturbing trend that private companies are now arbiters of what is considered authentic and what is considered fake, but that’s a topic for another post). In the well-footnoted and researched letter, FrackFeed points out some of the whopping lies about fracking told by organizations like the Sierra Club. FrackFeed totally refutes the Sierra Club’s false claims and encourages Google to demote their trash talk in search results. We’re not holding our breath…Continue reading

Why does Big Oil Continue to Support Horrible Paris CO2 Treaty?

Something has befuddled us for a long time. Why would Big Oil companies–like ExxonMobil, Shell and BP–actually support the international climate agreement that caps carbon dioxide emissions from the fuels they extract? In December 2015, then-President Barack Hussein Obama signed the Paris Agreement (otherwise known as COP21) that forfeits the national sovereignty of the United States in the name of so-called man-made global warming (see Paris Climate Treaty Signed by Obama NOT Binding on U.S.). Obama and nearly every country of the world signed the climate agreement/treaty committing the nations of the world to lower carbon dioxide emissions. You know, CO2–the stuff you exhale with every breath you take. Yeah, that stuff is supposedly warming up ole Mom Earth, catastrophically. Except it’s not. There is no empirical data that shows the earth is heating up–only doctored computer models. Satellite data shows the opposite–the average temp of Mom Earth is not heating up and hasn’t been for 20 years. Look it up. But facts aren’t what the Paris agreement was about. We can tell you what the agreement is about in two simple points: (1) transferring massive amounts of hard-earned wealth away from America to other countries, via a carbon tax; (2) banning the use of all fossil energy. On the campaign trail Donald Trump expressed the desire to opt out of the agreement (an agreement never ratified by the Senate, meaning it’s not binding). But now he’s equivocating. One reason is his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon and supporter of the agreement. Again we ask, why in the world would Tillerson and others actually support this disastrous treaty?…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, May 18, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Dead-end NY can’t create any jobs Upstate following frack ban; big air quality improvements coming to OH, thx to fracking; oil production in Utica shows modest increase; Air Products may shut down Luzerne County LNG manufacturing plant; Bob Huggins to highlight Shale Crescent USA event; WV nixes enviro group’s appeal of Mountain Valley pipe permit; Virginia gov targets power plant emissions; change at the top of Halliburton; former FERC attorneys say it’s time to drop NAVs; US shale oil will grow, even at $40/barrel; Trinidad production drops 8% in March; and more!Continue reading