MHR Wiggles Out of One Midstream Contract, Sues to End Another

Two weeks ago Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR), a driller focused almost exclusively on the Marcellus/Utica and going through bankruptcy protection proceedings, struck a deal with pipeline company Texas Gas Transmission Inc. to terminate four existing contracts with company to use its pipelines. MHR was pressuring Texas Gas to cancel the contracts it has with MHR subsidiary Triad Hunter, but Texas Gas was resisting. In the end Texas Gas agreed to cancel the contracts provided they get a $15 million “unsecured claim” which grants Texas Gas the right to be near the front of the line to get paid $15M when MHR is either sold or emerges from bankruptcy proceedings. MHR isn’t, however, having as much success with canceling signed contracts for another of its subsidiaries in the Bakken Shale region. Bakken Hunter has an existing, signed contract with Oklahoma midstream company Oneok. Citing the recent Sabine Oil & Gas ruling in which that company was allowed to cancel midstream contracts during bankruptcy (see Midstream Nightmare Comes True: Judge Lets Driller Cancel Contracts), MHR is asking a Delaware bankruptcy court to allow them to wiggle out of the Oneok deal. In addition to updates on these two situations, we also have news that the Securities and Exchange Commission is at least partially blaming two former Magnum Hunter employees–a chief financial officer and chief account officer–for the company’s financial predicament…
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Family of Man Who Died in 2013 Eurkea Hunter Accident Gets $18M

lawsuitIn April 2013 MDN reported on the tragic death of 56-year-old Bruce Phipps from Marietta, OH who was working at a Eureka Hunter “pig” (Pipeline Inspection Gauge) receiving station near near Wick (Tyler County), WV (see Flash Fire at Pipeline Station in WV Kills 1, Injures 3 Others). Later, Pennsylvania resident Raymond Miller, another of the injured workers, also died (see Second Death from Flash Fire at WV Pipeline Station). Phipps’ widow sued Eureka Hunter and several other companies involved with the pipeline and last week all parties settled and the Circuit Court of Ohio gave its stamp of approval. Phipps’ widow and her family will receive $18 million, minus one-third ($6 million) that goes to the lawyers…
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Magnum Hunter Sells 5K Acres for $41M in Tyler County, WV

Magnum Hunter Resources’ drilling subsidiary, Triad Hunter, is selling 5,210 net acres of leases in Tyler County, WV to an undisclosed competitor for $40.8 million, the company announced yesterday. The sale will take place tomorrow. According to MHR, the acreage is “non-core,” “undeveloped,” and “unproven.” The leases on the acreage are also set to expire soon, so it’s drill now or never–and for MHR, it was never. Why not convert that acreage into some cold, hard cash? Incidentally, if you do the math, it works out to be a sale price of $7,831 per acre…
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Who’s Still Leasing Land and Where in WV?

Who’s leasing land for drilling–and where? Perhaps the bigger question is, are drillers still leasing land?! The answer to that would be a resounding “yes, they are still leasing.” We don’t have a comprehensive overview of where people are leasing, but we spotted a list of leases filed with the clerk in Wetzel County, WV and found it interesting. Here’s who leased, how much acreage, and which energy company they signed with (sorry, no lease terms with signing bonuses and royalties, just acreage & driller)…
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More Bids to Drill Under WV State-Owned Land, Incl Ohio River

West Virginia keeps up its aggressive push to lease and allow drilling under state-owned land–both under the Ohio River and under other tracts of state-owned land in prime Marcellus/Utica country. Last Friday the state Dept. of Commerce, responsible for overseeing the leasing program, opened its latest round of bids. Some of them are truly eye-popping. You may recall Antero Resources has paid $12,000 per acre (with 20% royalties) to drill under 518 acres of the Conaway Run Wildlife Management Area (see Record High Bid to Drill Under Bambi’s Home in Tyler County, WV). In the bids opened Friday, Jay Bee bid an even higher price to drill under the Jug Wildlife Management Area, also in Tyler County…
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OH Village Gets $307K Signing Bonus, 18.25% Royaly to Lease 72 Acres

Last night, the village of New Matamoras, in Washington County, OH, was handed a check for $307,687.25. The general fund budget for all of 2014 was $121,368! The check came from MNW Energy, which is acting as the land broker for Triad Hunter (a division of Magnum Hunter Resources). The money is the up-front lease signing bonus for 72 acres of village owned-land that Triad plans to drill under. The payment amounts to a signing bonus of $4,275 per acre. When and if Triad drills, the village will get an 18.25% royalty on all gas/liquids produced. The biggest “problem” Matamoras had was how to cash the check! The next “problem” they have is how they’ll spend it. Here’s the low-down…
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ODNR Still Investigating Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Ohio

On December 13, 2014, Triad Hunter’s Stalder 3UH well in Monroe County, OH experienced a blowout (see Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Monroe County, OH – No One Injured). Some 50 residents in 28 homes were displaced–too dangerous to be close to a well venting methane that might explode if an ignition source is close by. Those residents were out of their homes for 10 days but finally returned on Dec. 23 (see Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Ohio Fixed, Residents Go Home). It’s now been five weeks since the blowout. What do we know about the cause? According to the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, the “accident” that caused the plugged well to start flowing uncontrollably is still not known…
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Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Ohio Fixed, Residents Go Home

On Monday we noted that it had been 10 days since a well blowout at a Triad Hunter Utica Shale well pad in Monroe County, OH with some 50 area residents still displaced from their homes (see Residents Near Leaking Triad Hunter Well in OH Still Displaced). Good news: residents near the well pad will be home for Christmas. Magnum Hunter (parent of Triad Hunter) reports as of yesterday Wild Well Control has successfully replaced the well head and temporarily capped the well. Residents are now home, just in time for the holidays. We sense a new Hallmark Christmas movie coming…
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Residents Near Leaking Triad Hunter Well in OH Still Displaced

It’s now 10 days since Triad Hunter, a division of Magnum Hunter, lost control of a Utica Shale gas well in Monroe County, OH (see Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Monroe County, OH – No One Injured). The problem is, for the 28 homes (50 or so people) who live nearby, they are still displaced–evacuated from their homes. They’ve been allowed back for a few hours at a time, periodically. But the wellhead needs to be replaced and until that’s done, it’s not safe for them to return full-time. Triad Hunter is hoping that Wild Well Control will have the wellhead replaced so that residents can return home tomorrow–December 23rd–and spend Christmas at home instead of at the friends, family and hotel rooms they’re staying in now…
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Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Monroe County, OH – No One Injured

out of controlOn Saturday, Triad Hunter, wholly-owned drilling subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources, lost control of a Utica Shale well in Monroe County, OH. The well had been drilled and temporarily plugged as the company planned to drill three more wells at the pad. However, “the well began to flow uncontrollably while recommencing production operations” according to a statement released by Magnum Hunter. Well pad personnel along with 28 homes located within a mile and a half were evacuated. Wild Well Control of Houston has been contacted and (presumably) now on site to contain the well. No injuries have been reported…
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Details on 4 Bids to Drill Under Ohio River in WV

As MDN recently reported, West Virginia solicited bids from drillers to drill under portions of the Ohio River in areas where the state owns land adjacent to the river and in areas where there is Marcellus and/or Utica Shale present. The state received four bids (see WV Receives 4 Bids to Drill Under the Ohio River). What we now have are the details of those bids…
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Magnum Hunter’s Pipeline System Boosts Volumes in OH/WV

A second announcement from Magnum Hunter over the past two days is not nearly as important as the first–but interesting nonetheless. Magnum Hunter announced yesterday that Eureka Hunter–Magnum’s pipeline gathering subsidiary–has bumped up the volume of gas flowing through the system to an average 316,500 million Btus per day, or roughly 307 million cubic feet (Mmcf) per day. Fully one-third of the gas flowing through the system, which is located in West Virginia and Ohio, comes from another Magnum Hunter subsidiary–Triad Hunter. Lot’s of “Hunters” out there. 😉 Here’s the announcement of the increasing volumes flowing through Eureka Hunter’s pipelines these days…
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Utica Shale Bails Monroe County out of Potential Hole

Ormet, an aluminum plant in Hannibal (Monroe County), OH is the county’s largest employer with 700 people working at the plant. Ormet officials shut the plant down last October claiming they couldn’t get a reasonable agreement on reducing high electric rates for the plant. That’s 700 people out on the street, looking for jobs (see Ormet Workers Rally At AEP). But what’s this? Monroe County Auditor Pandora Neuhart and County Treasurer Judy Gramlich are not worried about sales tax revenues in the county taking a hit from all of those unemployed workers. Why? Because Utica Shale drilling has taken off in the county and tax revenues from drilling are starting to flow in.

New Utica drilling revenue is not jump-up-and-down good news for the displaced Ormet workers (that situation needs urgent attention by Gov. Kasich), but the new Utica revenue is a good sign that regular county operations will not be adversely affected by the Ormet layoffs. Thank you Utica Shale! An update on Utica drilling in Monroe County, and how the now bankrupt Ormet is profiting from it (with wells on their property)…
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Magnum Hunter Production #s for Recent Wells Drilled in OH & WV

This morning Magnum Hunter issued an operational update for wells recently drilled in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale–in Ohio and West Virginia. In addition to production stats for the new wells (see below), MH reports they continue to snap up acreage in both the Marcellus and Utica. They now own 89,000 acres in the Marcellus and 105,000 acres in the Utica. Some of that acreage overlaps and they plan to drill both Marcellus and Utica wells on the same pad in some cases.

Here’s the update, including well results from wells drilled in Monroe and Washington counties in OH, and Tyler County in WV:
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Magnum Hunter Drills 2nd OH Location – Plans 18 Wells on 1 Pad!

Schramm T500XDMagnum Hunter Resources announced today they have begun shale drilling at a second Ohio location–this one in Monroe County, OH. While the fact that Magnum is now ramping up their Utica drilling program is interesting–that’s not the “new news” in the announcement. The new news is this:

The Monroe County wells are the first wells Magnum Hunter will drill using their new robotic drilling rig, a Schramm T500XD. Furthermore, they plan to drill an astonishing 18 wells at this one location–10 of them Marcellus wells, and 8 of them Utica wells. In addition, Magnum is keeping it “all in the family,” by using subsidiary Triad Hunter to operate the wells and subsidiary Eureka Hunter to pipeline the gas from the wells…
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