New Marcellus/Utica Driller Snaps Up Assets in OH, PA

It’s not often these days we get to announce a new driller in the Marcellus/Utica. Today is one of those days. Actually, this company has been around since early 2015, but we’re only now becoming aware of them. Pin Oak Energy Partners, headquartered in Akron, OH, is an exploration and production company engaged in both conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas wells and the operation of associated assets (like pipelines). Pin Oak currently operates 363 wells producing nearly 5.7 MMcfe/d (32% liquids) across more than 32,000 acres in the Marcellus/Utica region. The company is also involved in midstream, field services and operations through its affiliate companies. Pin Oak is on an aggressive acquisition binge of shale AND midstream assets, as well as leasing new acreage. Who is Pin Oak? According to CEO Chris Halvorson, Pin Oak is comprised of folks who were formerly with AB Resources. You may recall that AB Resources built a position in the southwestern “core” of the Marcellus and sold out to Chevron several years ago. Pin Oak is “what’s next” for for the former AB folks. Their target: the Appalachian basin. In July, Pin Oak bought 9,300 acres of leases and 8 Utica wells from EQT in Guernsey, Muskingum, and Columbiana counties (Ohio). Earlier this week Pin Oak announced they’ve purchased another 7,700 acres of leases and 10 Utica wells from an undisclosed seller in Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Mahoning counties (in Ohio) and Mercer, Crawford and Venango counties (in Pennsylvania). Below are two recent announcements. Pin Oak can be summed up in one word: aggressive. Keep a close eye on this company in the coming months and years…
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Chesapeake’s Property Tax Assessment Lowered in Marshall County

West Virginia has a phenomenally complicated taxation structure when it comes to, well, everything—but especially for oil and gas wells. The severance tax is 5%—that’s pretty easy. But WV also has an ad valorem (property) tax for both drillers and mineral rights owners. The way WV calculates the value of income-producing properties takes a tax attorney to figure out. In Marshall County, tax attorney John Mairs represents both Chesapeake Energy and Chevron. Chesapeake has 29 wells in the county and Chevron has 19.

Mairs was successful in getting Chesapeake’s property assessments on their 29 wells reduced by nearly $60 million, but Chevron’s assessment was reduced by only $20 million and that was due to a clerical error at the state level. Here’s the story on how and why the property assessments were modified in Marshall County for these two drillers:

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Marcellus Leasing & Drilling in the West Virginia Panhandle Heats Up

West Virginia Marcellus Shale is getting hot. From an article* in the Steubenville (OH) Herald-Star, we get a mountain of good intelligence on what energy companies have and are paying in the West Virginia panhandle:

  • AB Resources is paying the New Vrindaban Hare Krishna Community in Marshall County $2,500 per acre for approximately 4,000 acres, and 18.75 percent production royalties. That works out to $10 million in lease payments.
  • Chesapeake paid $750 per acre and 14 percent royalties to the Wheeling Park Commission for leases in the Oglebay and Wheeling Parks in 2009. The park commissioner is not happy that Chesapeake is planning to pay more this year to lease public lands in neighboring Ohio County.
  • Chesapeake paid $2,800 per acre and 18.75 percent production royalties last month to the Marshall County Board of Education for rights to 177 acres in Sherrard.
  • Chesapeake has 11,000 acres under lease in Ohio County, and 45,000 acres (with 26 wells drilled) in Marshall County.
  • Trans Energy owns and operates 300 active wells in Marshall, Wetzel and Marion counties, with 40,000 acres under lease.

Also, according to the article:

Current lease contracts range from as low as $5 per acre to as high as $2,800 per acre, with production royalties ranging from 12.5 percent to 18.75 percent. Landowners are being urged to think carefully before signing any contract.*

*Steubenville Herald-Star (Mar 8th) – Steubenville Herald-Star – Natural gas could bring riches to Panhandle