In September MDN brought you the news that the buyer of the bankrupt Canadian waterless fracking company, GASFRAC, is shelving the waterless propane fracking product the company was known for (see New Owner “Mothballs” GASFRAC’s Waterless LPG Technology). Our comment at the time was: “The mothballing of the GASFRAC technology raises and interesting question for the effort to frack a well in Tioga County, NY, where a group of farmers had planned to use LPG fracking technology on a test well (see NY Landowners File to Frack Horizontal Well w/Waterless Tech). We sure hope they weren’t pinning their hopes on GASFRAC.” An article in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin tells us that yes, the Tioga County landowners who want to frack New York’s first Marcellus well were–and still are–planning to use the GASFRAC technology. According to a rep from the Tioga landowner group, they have access to the equipment and technology from GASFRAC to do an LPG frack should they get a green light from the state… Continue reading
In March MDN told you the sad story that Canadian waterless fracking company GASFRAC had been sold to an unnamed third party after going bankrupt (see Bankrupt Waterless Fracking Co GASFRAC Sold to “Third Party”). GASFRAC’s technology had been used to frack a Utica Shale well (for $22 million), and the results were, shall we say, less than stellar (see EVEP Reports Waterless Fracked OH Well is a Bust). We now know two new things about GASFRAC: (1) the company that purchased it out of bankruptcy is another Canadian company–STEP Energy; (2) STEP has mothballed GASFRAC’s waterless LPG fracking technology… Continue reading
As MDN noted last Thursday, taking a break from being on break in breathtakingly beautiful Ogunquit, Maine, a group of Tioga County, NY landowners have painted Andrew Cuomo and his Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in a corner with respect to fracking in the Empire State (see NY Landowners File to Frack Horizontal Well w/Waterless Tech). Much of the case against fracking for the DEC is that it uses large amounts of water. The Tioga landowners aim to test LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, fracking–which uses no water. According to the recently adopted Final Supplemental Environmental Generic Impact Statement (FSGEIS) in New York, “Well applications that specify and propose the use of LPG as the primary carrier fluid will be reviewed and permitted pursuant to the 1992 GEIS and Findings Statement”(FSGEIS 2015, pages 9-10). The Tioga landowners mean to use that exception to drill a small well–covering just 53 acres–to prove that fracking is safe. It’s a brilliant move… Continue reading
Wouldn’t you know? The very day that MDN goes on vacation, a HUGE story–at least for New York State–happens. So we’re back with a single posting today. Yesterday a press conference was held in the Town of Barton (Tioga County), NY to announce that a group of landowners flying under the name of The Snyder Farm Group (five families make up the group) have contracted with Tioga Energy Partners to drill a fracked Utica Shale well, and follow it up with drilling a fracked Marcellus Shale well, using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or propane) and sand. The wells will not use water for fracking–and therefore, according to the landowners, avoid the ban on high volume fracking recently imposed by Andrew Cuomo and his underling Joe Martens at the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). There is no doubt this is huge news throughout the state–and is giving heartburn to Cuomo and Martens. What cockamamie grounds can the DEC possibly use to refuse it? It’s a brilliant move by the landowners in Tioga County… Continue reading
Reading through earnings calls transcripts (hey, somebody has to do it), we discovered what we believe no one else has (yet) discovered or reported. On an earnings call yesterday, top management from EV Energy Partners, one of the largest acreage holders in the Utica Shale, shared interesting initial results from the test Utica well they drilled in Tuscarawas County, OH–a well drilled using waterless fracking technology from GASFRAC (see Details on GASFRAC’s Waterless Frack Test in OH Utica). The theory being tested by EVEP is that using water during fracking of a well targeted for oil recovery somehow damages the chances of oil recovery. GASFRAC used a mix of 75% butane and 25% mineral oil to frack EVEP’s “Nettles” well. The results? On yesterday’s earnings call EVEP Chairman John Walker revealed that after 90 days in production, the Nettles well is producing about half the production of a similar nearby well fracked using water. That is–the waterless frack job was a big disappointment… Continue reading
In an effort to minimize the impact of shale drilling on the environment, perhaps the biggest prize of all is to figure out a viable alternative to using water in fracking. As MDN has pointed out numerous times–there’s nothing wrong with using water, as long as you recycle it and/or properly dispose of it. Water is used because it’s economical to do so, and it’s one of the best fluids to get the fracking job done. But still, there are locations, like the western part of the country, that are water-constrained. Plus, it would sure be nice to reduce all of those truck trips to the well pad. One technology that seemed to hold promise was liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fracking, pioneered by Canadian company GASFRAC. The problem is, GASFRAC is close to the end of being sold off in bankruptcy court (see Bankrupt Waterless Fracking Co GASFRAC Sold to “Third Party”). Does the end of GASFRAC also mean the end of waterless fracking? Perhaps not. An intriguing new LNG (liquefied natural gas) fracking technology is now on the horizon… Continue reading
Something we consider pretty big news: Chesapeake Energy is running an experiment with waterless fracking. They’ve contracted with Canadian waterless fracking company GASFRAC to attempt what is the second (that we’re aware of) waterless frack job on a Utica Shale well–in Tuscarawas County, OH. The first waterless frack job done by GASFRAC was for EV Energy Partners on a Utica well also in Tuscarawas County (see Details on GASFRAC’s Waterless Frack Test in OH Utica). We consider it a good sign that Chessy thinks its worth a few million bucks to try it out for themselves. Chessy stresses this is still very preliminary… Continue reading
It’s either a sad ending, or a happy new beginning–we’re not sure which. For some time MDN has chronicled the ups and mostly downs of Canadian company GASFRAC, a pioneer and perhaps best shot (so far) in providing a waterless alternative to fracking shale wells. The company ran an experimental frack job on a Utica Shale well for EV Energy Partners last year (see Details on GASFRAC’s Waterless Frack Test in OH Utica). EV has not released any details about that frack job, good or bad–so far. GASFRAC has been in financial trouble for a few years now and we reported earlier this year the company filed for bankruptcy protection and put themselves and/or any of their assets up for sale (see Fire Sale for GASFRAC Waterless Fracking Co, Interim CEO Resigns). The sale has happened… Continue reading
Canadian oilfield services company GASFRAC continues to be a company in serious trouble. Which is sad. GASFRAC, you may recall, is one of the few companies that has a commercially viable waterless fracking technology using liquefied petroleum gas (liquid propane). GASFRAC was working on their first Utica Shale frack job late last year (see Details on GASFRAC’s Waterless Frack Test in OH Utica). But the company has been in trouble for some time. They fired the CEO and COO back in late 2012 (see Waterless LPG Fracking Company GASFRAC Fires its CEO, COO). The company filed for bankruptcy a few weeks ago (see Waterless Fracking Company GASFRAC Files for Bankruptcy). Since 2012, GASFRAC has had an “acting” CEO. As of yesterday, he’s not acting anymore–he’s now gone along with another board member. In February the company will be de-listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The good news is that the bankruptcy court is allowing them to proceed with either a sale of the whole company, or its pieces, post haste… Continue reading
There’s been some talk in New York that perhaps waterless fracking could play a role in moving the Empire State forward with shale drilling. When such talk happens, it usually centers on Canadian company GASFRAC. Not long ago GASFRAC was engaged in fracking its first Utica Shale well in Ohio (see Details on GASFRAC’s Waterless Frack Test in OH Utica). However, last Thursday GASFRAC announced they’ve filed for bankruptcy in Canada. According to the press release they will remain in operation and the management team in place now will continue to run the company. But let’s be honest, a company in bankruptcy doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence in a cutting-edge technology that could save New York. The fact remains that water-based fracking is still the cheapest, most efficient way (currently) to frack… Continue reading
Two weeks ago MDN was (we believe) the first to call attention to a very short reference in the quarterly update from Canadian oilfield services company GASFRAC–a line that says GASFRAC had finally begun fracking a Utica Shale well using their waterless technology (see GASFRAC Begins Waterless Fracking Job in OH Utica). At the time we had no details about where the well is located, and who the exploration company is that GASFRAC is doing the work for. We now know those bits, thanks to some ace reporting by Tom Knox at Columbus Business First… Continue reading
Last week MDN was the first to bring you the news that Canadian company GASFRAC has (after two years) finally begun fracking an Ohio Utica Shale well using liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG (see GASFRAC Begins Waterless Fracking Job in OH Utica). GASFRAC’s senior management held an analyst call last week to discuss the company’s performance (the company’s financials are not good). As part of that call was a Q&A in which the Utica well they’re now working on was discussed. We found the banter interesting. One of the more interesting aspects was GASFRAC’s contention that LPG fracking used in places where earthquakes are a concern (like Ohio) may reduce the likelihood of a fracking-induced earthquake from occurring… Continue reading
In May 2012 Canadian GASFRAC, a company that has pioneered waterless fracking by using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, or propane) said they had contracted with an unnamed company to use their LPG fracking technology on two Utica Shale wells, as an experiment (see GASFRAC Waterless Fracking Technology Debuts in Utica Shale). How did it go? As far as we can tell, it never happened. Until now. According to the company’s third quarter update, released today, they’ve just begun to fracture their first well in the Utica. GASFRAC has been a company in trouble. They fired the CEO and COO in September 2012 (see Waterless LPG Fracking Company GASFRAC Fires its CEO, COO). The current CEO, according to today’s announcement, is still listed as being “interim”–meaning they still haven’t settled on a new long-term leader for the company. Revenues have tanked in the past year. Reading between the lines, the finances of the company look pretty bleak. According to interim CEO, Mark Williamson, all options are on the table for the company: soldier on and hope to improve the bottom line (not likely in our humble opinion), merge with someone else, or sell bits and pieces or the whole thing to someone else… Continue reading
GASFRAC, a Canadian company with a patented fracking technology that uses liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) instead of water, announced a major shakeup yesterday. The company’s board of directors has tossed CEO Zeke Zeringue and COO Steve Batchelor overboard in a management shakeup.
An unnamed driller in Ohio has asked Canadian company GASFRAC to use its waterless fracking technology to drill two trial wells in the Utica Shale. You may recall that a group of Tioga County, NY landowners with a collective 135,000 Marcellus Shale acres were set to use GASFRAC’s LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) technology to jump start drilling in New York, but the lease and royalty deal with the driller, eCORP, fell through (no fault of GASFRAC, see this MDN story).
Will GASFRAC’s innovative technology do the trick in Ohio’s Utica Shale? There’s some disagreement on that point.
When the announcement that a group of landowners in Tioga County, NY are about to sign sign leases with eCORP to allow drilling on 135,000 acres using waterless LPG fracking, MDN cautioned against euphoria that pro-drillers finally have a method of extracting natural gas that even anti-drillers can’t complain about. We predicted something eminently predictable: They will find things to object to in LPG fracking because, there is not other way to put this, they hate fossil fuels (see this MDN story).