Pin Oak Zigs to North Utica as Everyone Else Zags to South Utica

Pin Oak Energy Partners is an interesting company. As we reported in early February, the company recently closed on several deals to acquire 70,000 Utica acres in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, adding to its portfolio (see Pin Oak Energy Buys 70K Utica Acres in OH & PA + Pipeline Assets). The new acreage (and producing well assets) is located in Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. Neither were the names of the sellers. However, we now have a pretty good idea of who did the selling: Halcon Resources and BP. We have some new insights into the thinking and strategy of Pin Oak by zigging (concentrating on the northern Utica) when it seems everyone else is zagging–abandoning the northern tier for the better-yielding southern Utica…
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Federal EPA Approves Permit for Plum, PA Wastewater Injection Well

Plum, PA

As MDN reported last July, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency in charge of approving oil and gas wastewater injection wells, was actively reviewing an application and plan from Penneco Environmental Solutions (division of Penneco Oil Co.) to convert a plugged gas well into a brine (wastewater) injection well in Plum, PA–in Allegheny County, near Pittsburgh (see New Frack Wastewater Well on the Way in Allegheny County, PA). The good news is that the EPA has given its final approval for the project. However, Penneco has miles to go (a lawsuit & state permits) before they begin retrofitting the well…
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PA Natural Gas Production Hits Another All-Time High in 4Q17

Pennsylvania ended 2017 with a bang–at least with respect to natural gas production. Yesterday, the PA Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for Oct-Dec 2017 (full copy below). It shows natgas production rose 9.8% compared to the same period last year. It also shows the number of producing wells is up 9.2% from last year. Total natural gas production volume was 1,401.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and the number of producing wells in 4Q17 was 8,268…
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FERC Grants Cove Point LNG Permission to Begin Commercial Ops

As MDN reported last Friday, the very first cargo of LNG (liquefied natural gas) left the Cove Point LNG export facility in Lusby, Maryland (see Cove Point Ships First LNG Cargo – But Not M-U Gas). However, as we accurately surmised, that first shipment did not contain Marcellus/Utica gas molecules, but instead the gas aboard was previously shipped in from Nigeria by Shell, used in the commissioning process to test the facility. Now that the commissioning process is complete, Dominion Energy, operator of the plant, requested (on Friday) a full-blown kiss of approval from FERC to begin real, commercial operations–chilling and liquefying Marcellus gas for export. On Monday, FERC granted its big, sloppy, wet kiss of approval. Cove Point is now up and running “for real”…
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New Midstream Company Coming to Marcellus-Utica? Maybe

A brand new midstream (i.e. pipeline) company called Mettle Midstream Partners has just launched. Two private investment firms, Pearl Energy Investments and Natural Gas Partners, are investing a cumulative $100 million in the new venture. Quite a vote of confidence! Mettle is based in Dallas, TX, but is looking to buy or build “first-class midstream assets in resilient unconventional plays across the U.S.” Will one of those areas be the Marcellus/Utica? Consider this: The company’s president and chief commercial officer has worked in a number of shale plays, including the Marcellus/Utica. While the company doesn’t specifically say they are targeting our region, we think it’s a pretty safe bet they are…
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PA DEP Secretary on Senate Hot Seat During Budget Hearing

Patrick McDonnell – Secretary, DEP

Last Thursday Pat McDonnell, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), appeared before the PA Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss the DEP’s proposed budget–and to answer questions about the (unimpressive) performance of his department. Among the issues discussed: The 250% increase in oil and gas well permit fees; the proposed DRBC fracking moratorium; abandoned oil and gas wells; controlling methane emissions; and Sen. John Yudichak’s do-nothing plan to “study” enormously slow permit approvals for erosion and sedimentation–critical permits for shale drillers that are often delayed by months. Here’s some of the back and forth from last week when McDonnell sat on the hot seat…
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Report: Russia Uses Social Media, Anti Groups to Target Shale

In the ongoing effort by Democrats and their sycophantic, servile media partners to oust Donald Trump from the White House by using a concocted, false story of “Russian collusion” in the elections–the REAL Russian collusion story is missed. That story is how Russia, using social media platforms and funding American anti-fossil fuel groups, has tried its best to interfere with and change American energy policy. Specifically, the Russians have targeted shale natural gas production–hoping to curtail or even stop our prolific production of natgas from shale plays like the Marcellus/Utica. The REAL story of Russian collusion and tampering in our politics can be found in a report recently released by the United States Congress, a report ignored by the so-called press…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Mar 6, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Atlantic Sunrise Pipe gives $10K to Lycoming College; Athens, OH frack ban charter now in hands of Appeals Court; Trump’s steel tariff doesn’t hurt oil & gas nearly as much as industry is saying; Wall Street wants to be paid–by drillers; oil from shale “resilient” at $50 according to Hess CEO; natgas storage math; moving tribute to natgas friend Nick Grealy; sorry OPEC–shale is about to turn a profit this year; U.S. emerging as India’s new energy partner; and more!
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