LOLA Energy Files 2nd Lawsuit Against EQT for Trespass in SWPA

Last July MDN broke the news that LOLA Energy had filed a lawsuit in Greene County, PA against EQT for allegedly drilling shale wells under property EQT formerly leased, but property for which the leases had lapsed and were subsequently scooped up by LOLA Energy II (see LOLA Energy Sues EQT for Trespass, Drilling Wells Under LOLA Land). LOLA said they are the owners of those leases now and that EQT has drilled under some of their properties. In another MDN exclusive, LOLA has just filed a second lawsuit in Greene County against EQT for the same thing: trespassing on LOLA-leased property.
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Gulfport Continues Board “Refreshment” – 4th Change in 5 Weeks

In mid-November Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), announced they are laying off 13% of their workforce, ending (for now) their stock share buy-back program, and “refreshing” the board with three new members (see Gulfport Fires 13% of Workers, Ends Stock Buy-Back, Board Changes). Here it is five weeks later and the company has just announced yet another new board member, the fourth new member in five weeks. What’s going on?
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ODNR Advertising for Contractors to Plug 200 Orphan Wells by June

Map of Ohio’s orphan wells (click for larger version)

Ohio’s Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) has the “help wanted” sign out, looking for contractors willing to plug some 200 orphaned oil and gas wells in the state before the fiscal year ends in June. ODNR has a budget of $25 million to spend in the next six months, and its burning a hole in their pocket.
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Ohio Court: Utica Frackers Owed Sales Tax Refunds for Equipment

Good news for oilfield services companies that offer fracking services in the Ohio Utica Shale. The Tenth District Ohio Court of Appeals recently ruled that an amendment to an existing law granting tax exempt status for oil and gas equipment not only applies to equipment purchased by frackers from now on, it also applies to equipment they’ve purchased (and paid sales tax on) going back in time too. In other words, some frackers are owed refunds on the sales tax they’ve paid in the past.
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Marcellus/Utica Rig Counts 2019 – The Trend was Not Our Friend

If you use the number of active rigs operating in a given shale play/state as the measure for “success,” 2019 wasn’t such a good year for the Marcellus/Utica. In January, Pennsylvania entered 2019 with 48 active rigs. In December that number was cut nearly in half, to 25 active rigs. It was a similar story for Ohio, which entered 2019 with 17 active rigs and exited with 12 rigs. West Virginia, on the other hand, entered 2019 with 15 rigs and exited the year with the same number. But at one point during the year WV had 21 active rigs. We have the monthly rig stats below for all three states.
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Remembering NGI Founder Ellen Beswick Steis

Ellen Beswick Steis

The launch of Marcellus Drilling News as a full-time venture for founder/editor Jim Willis would not have been possible without Jim working a part-time gig (in marketing) for Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI). The fantastic folks at NGI, specifically Dexter and Alex Steis (publisher and editor-in-chief, respectively) provided Jim with meaningful, long-term support for six years (from 2012-2017). Jim is eternally grateful they allowed him to continue publishing MDN while working (remotely) for NGI. The head of NGI since its founding has been Dexter and Alex’s mom, Ellen Beswick Steis, a true trailblazer who founded the company in 1983. Ellen passed on Christmas Eve at the age of 79 following an illness.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Jan 3, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Tone-deaf Democrats risk handing western Pennsylvania to Trump; Falling NY population is part of Cuomo’s plan; Range Resources director to resign; NATIONAL: US oil, gas rig count down by 4 to 836, lowest since early 2017; Natural-gas slide continues to start 2020; The Top 10 RBN energy prognostications for 2020 – Year of the Rat; Hamm, McClendon — and other names behind a fracking great decade for american oil and gas; INTERNATIONAL: As demand increases, Canada’s most populated province expanding natgas infrastructure; Best decade yet: humanity grew richer and more sustainable in the 2010s.
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