Horizontal Fracking of Ohio’s Clinton Sandstone Heats Up

Once upon a time the Clinton Sandstone layer was the most drilled rock layer in Ohio. Then the Utica/Point Pleasant came along and it seemed as if everybody forgot about the Clinton. Previously the Clinton was drilled vertically, or conventional-only. But what if you drilled the Clinton horizontally, like you do in the Utica? You might get a “Utica-lite” well, as we commented back in 2015 (see Ohio Clinton Sandstone Horiz Wells on the Increase – Utica-Lite?). According to drillers who have experimented in the Clinton, drilling a horizontal Clinton well is anywhere from 3-10 times more expensive than a conventional well, but it produces anywhere from 7 to 20 times more oil, which is typically the hydrocarbon companies drill for in the Clinton. EnveVest is one of the biggest Clinton drillers, experimenting with horizontal drilling in the Clinton (see EnerVest Likes Clinton Sandstone “Utica-lite” Oil Wells in OH). Earlier this year we told you about another driller targeting the Clinton in Ohio–US Energy (see 2 Horiz. Clinton Sandstone Wells Drilled in Ashtabula County, OH). We have another new Clinton driller to tell you about–experimenting with horizontal fracking in the Clinton, drilling wells in Hocking County, well outside of the Utica region.
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New Fortress Energy Building Second PA LNG Export Facility

Earlier this month MDN brought you the exciting news that New Fortress Energy (NFE) is planning to build an LNG (liquefied natural gas) liquefaction plant in Wyalusing (Bradford County), PA in order to export Marcellus gas (see Big News! Marcellus LNG Export Plant Coming to Landlocked NEPA). The $800 million plant will supercool and liquefy locally extracted Marcellus Shale gas and ship it first by truck, eventually by rail, to “customers in the U.S. as well as abroad.” NFE recently filed a Securities and Exchange Commission document called an S-1. In that filing, we learn some dynamite news: NFE is working on a *second* Pennsylvania LNG facility! Not only that, but they have plans to build another 5-10 such facilities over the next five years–although we don’t know if all of those will be in the Marcellus/Utica. Something else we learned in the S-1 is how NFE plans to export the LNG they produce in Wyalusing to other countries.
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Encino Plans to Continue Expanding in OH Utica

Earlier this month Encino Acquisition Partners (i.e. Encino Energy) completed its purchase of all of Chesapeake Energy’s Ohio Utica Shale assets for $2 billion, originally announced in July (see Stop Press: Chesapeake Sells ALL of its Ohio Utica Assets for $2B). The deal includes all of Chesapeake’s 933,000 Ohio acres–with 320,000 net Utica acres–and 920 operated and non-operated Ohio Utica wells. With the deal now done, Encino is signaling good things are ahead. Encino President and CEO Hardy Murchison recently spoke with S&P Global Platts about the company’s plans for the future. You’ll be interested to know that Encino is already evaluating more acreage they want to buy in the Ohio Utica, to further expand their already-massive new operation.
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Army Corps Temporarily Stops All Stream Crossing Work for ACP

In a pattern that has repeated itself with both the Mountain Valley Pipeline and (now) the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a key permit that allows ACP to build under and through streams and rivers and wetlands has been, for now, revoked. The permit is called a Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 and was previously issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow ACP to build through streams, etc. in all three states where it runs–West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Earlier this month the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals put a temporary stop on constructing the pipeline across/under/through streams and rivers in WV (see 4th Circus Court Blocks Some Atlantic Coast Pipe Work in WV). So the Army Corps in all three states has just issued an order suspending NWP 12, for now. But here’s what mainstream media doesn’t tell you: ACP actually asked the Army Corps to do it!
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NEXUS Pipe Won’t Complete Restoration Work Until Spring

NEXUS Pipeline, a $2.6 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that runs from Ohio into Michigan, began a partial startup in October, and is now fully online. Although there was early opposition to the project, and some complaints from landowners along the route of construction, the project is noteworthy for the just how little complaining there actually was. Not all of the restoration work–things like reseeding and landscaping–is done. Most of it is done, but not all. A few landowners still have some scattered complaints related to unfinished work. Massive amounts of rain in the region have prevented final restoration work, which NEXUS now says will have to wait until spring 2019. In the meantime, local school districts and municipalities are rubbing their hands, anticipating tax payments that will begin to flow into their coffers.
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New England Electric & Gas Prices Spike Due to No New Gas Pipes

This is an “I told you so” post. Last Wednesday, just ahead of what was perhaps the coldest temps for Thanksgiving on record in New England, the price of electricity and the price of natural gas both spiked in New England. Most electricity produced in the region is produced by burning natural gas. Natgas was selling for $13.70/Mcf (thousand cubic feet, or million BTUs) last Wednesday. That was up from an average of $4.67/Mcf this year (up almost 300%). The reason for the spike is lack of natural gas, and the reason for lack of natural gas is a lack of pipelines, plain and simple. And this won’t be the last time. New England will get hosed this winter as prices rocket every time there’s a cold snap. We take no pleasure in saying, “Told you so.”
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Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Nov 26, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Higher than normal W.Va. natural gas, coal prices create excitement, but will it last?; Rig count stands at 18 in Ohio’s Utica; Texas is about to create OPEC’s worst nightmare; Trump Admin dominates with billion-dollar oil and gas sale; How CEO and President Doug Lawler benefits from the Chesapeake Energy acquisition; Natural Gas Price Forecast – natural gas markets run into resistance again; A risky natural gas bet gone awry leads to weepy YouTube confessional video; An investor’s guide to midstream oil and gas; U.S. liquefied natural gas poised for ‘biggest year ever’; Natural gas companies plug leaks, easily surpass 2025 goal; South Korea to back construction of 140 LNG-powered ships; India looks to double its natural gas usage.
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