Hilcorp Files for Permits to Drill 3 Wells in Columbiana County, OH

Hilcorp has woken up and come alive in the Ohio Utica Shale–for the first time this year. The company recently filed for permits to drill three new Utica wells in Columbiana County. Which is interesting. Hilcorp zigs when everyone zags. Most drilling in the Ohio Utica currently happens in southeastern Ohio–in counties like Belmont, Monroe and Guernsey. When the play first became active for shale drilling, much of the early action happened in Carroll County, and Columbiana. But lately (over the past 2-3 years) most drilling moved south. But Hilcorp, with acreage in the northern Utica in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, continues to make money staying north. In fact, Hilcorp has been called the “dominant active prospector” in the northern tier area of the Utica Shale–an area including Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties in OH and Lawrence and Mercer counties in PA. Hilcorp is strong and steady. They make money when they drill. So we take this as a good sign that drilling is heating up in the northern Utica…Continue reading

6 Towns, 3 Schools in Jefferson Co., OH Split $5M/Yr in Pipe Tax

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With all of the negative talk about pipelines and opposition to pipelines and pipelines will kill ya and pipelines are from the devil, you may have overlooked the fact that some areas bow down and kiss the ground and thank their lucky stars to have a pipeline. One of those places is Jefferson County, OH. Six townships and three school districts in Jefferson County will be part of taxing districts to share in $5 million a year in public utility taxes paid by the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline (TETCo), a major interstate pipeline system. This is newfound money that school districts and towns are starved for in this era of budget cuts. And the money doesn’t come out of taxpayers’ pockets. It comes from private industry–from a pipeline flowing clean-burning natural gas. In a situation not unlike Warren Beatty giving Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope, TETCo gave the wrong information to the Ohio Department of Taxation about which taxing districts the pipeline passes through. So some schools and towns that were initially elated and now deflated, and others have hit the lottery. Frankly, it’s too bad the pipeline doesn’t go through all of them!…Continue reading

$700M CPV Power Plant in Cambria, PA Gets Ready to Break Ground

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It’s taken a few years, but we are now only a few months away from groundbreaking to build a new Marcellus gas-fired power plant in Cambria County, PA. Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) will build the $700 million CPV Fairview Energy Center off Route 271 near Vinco, in rural Jackson Township (see 2 Natgas-Fired Electric Power Plants Coming to Cambria County, PA). Last June the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) held a public hearing on an Air Quality Plan Approval Application for the project (see Voice Support for CPV NatGas Power Plant in Cambria County, PA). After securing financing and filling out a forest worth of paperwork, CPV Fairview Energy is almost ready to begin construction. What can the locals expect from this new plant? Perhaps a field trip to another CPV power plant, in New Jersey, can enlighten us…Continue reading

Major Gen. James “Spider” Marks Takes Aim at Lawless PA Protesters

Major General James A. “Spider” Marks is the former Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence Center, and was the senior intelligence officer for the 2003 liberation of Iraq. Since retiring from the military, General Marks has led many business ventures in education, energy, and research, and served as the President and CEO of Global Linguist Solutions, a private company that provided linguistics services to the U.S. military in Iraq and was the largest employer of native Iraqis. He is an on-air national security, military, and intelligence contributor to CNN and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Spider Marks doesn’t suffer fools gladly. In an op-ed written for the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Marks takes aim at so-called protesters (paid activists) who ran up a $40 million tab of destruction in North Dakota (paid for by taxpayers) with their so-called protest camp there, and who now are attempting to invade Pennsylvania and recreate the same chaos. Marks calls a spade a spade in his deft column…Continue reading

Radical Antis Ask FERC to Stop ET Construction on Rover Pipeline

Radical environmental groups are seeking to stop the Energy Transfer Rover Pipeline project by using recent violations as leverage. The FreshWater Accountability Project, begun in Ohio after the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District signed agreements to sell water to the shale industry, along with Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline, filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Wednesday asking the federal agency to stop all construction on Rover. The request will almost certainly go nowhere–but Rover’s own actions have opened the door to this action. We understand that accidents happen when drilling horizontally underground for pipelines and that sometimes you get an “inadvertent return” (leak) of drilling mud slipping up to the surface. But it’s tough to explain away a 2 million gallon leak (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). It’s also hard to ignore storm water runoff fouling farmers’ fields where Rover is digging trenches (see OEPA & Rover at Odds Over Storm Water Runoff, “Fine” Now $714K). It smacks of a rush job, and that gives the other side an opening in their quest to stop fossil fuel infrastructure projects like Rover…Continue reading

Radicals Protest Outside PA Senate Hearing on NatGas Benefits

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee and Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a joint hearing to examine the economic benefits natural gas production has brought the Keystone State. MDN friend David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, was present and let legislators know that PA has become the #2 natural gas producer in the country, and that remarkable feat has brought PA billions of dollars in investment. The investment in new or converted natural gas electric plants alone has reached $10 billion! Thad Hill of Calpine Corporation (nation’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas) also spoke. While the adults were inside talking about serious issues, children in adult bodies were outside misbehaving, as they typically do. Radicals (paid protesters) from Earthworks held a protest rally on the steps of the Capitol where they held up big, black balloons. Yeah, we have no idea what makes them tick either…Continue reading

Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar Out, President Jeff Miller Promoted

Dave Lesar – Retiring CEO of Halliburton

There’s a shakeup at the top of the world’s second largest oilfield services company, Halliburton. Dave Lesar has been Halliburton’s chairman and CEO since 2000 when he replaced Dick Cheney (when Cheney was nominated to become Vice President of the United States). Lesar is retiring effective next week and being replaced by the company’s current president, Jeff Miller. The financial media is calling this “an expected move” because Lesar will reach mandatory retirement age next year. Some analysts, however, are not as kind–saying that Lesar’s botched attempt to buy Baker Hughes last year (with a resulting $3.5 billion breakup fee paid by Halliburton), and the company’s poor balance sheet over the past few years, are reasons enough to make the transition now. Halliburton, one of the largest fracking companies in the world, has major operations in the Marcellus/Utica region–hence our interest in changes at the top…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, May 26, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: DPS Land Services endows scholarship for WVU; new record for completion time/frac intensity in Eagle Ford; Venture Global LNG brings in more cash for projects; Congress considers laws to counter ‘sue-and-settle’ by Big Green groups; private equity using new strategy in o&g; WV AG leads coalition urging Trump to dump Paris climate deal; OPEC isn’t dead yet (unfortunately); and more!Continue reading