Former GreenHunter Expanding in West Virginia with 160 Jobs

Fountain Quail Energy Services, which is the new name for the company that used to be called GreenHunter Resources, is planning to expand in Lewis County, WV. A WV lawmaker says he’s talked Fountain Quail into expanding in an industrial park in Jane Lew, bringing 160 jobs to the site. In December 2015 MDN reported that Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (see Sad Day: Magnum Hunter Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). MHR has a variety of subsidiary companies. One of those companies, GreenHunter Resources (water and wastewater), also succumbed and filed for bankruptcy–in March 2016 (see Another Sad Day: GreenHunter Resources Files for Bankruptcy). Restructuring was completed for GreenHunter in May 2016 and the company emerged from bankruptcy under the ownership of a private equity firm. A few months later, GreenHunter shed its former name and merged with/took on a new name: Fountain Quail. The CEO of Fountain Quail is the former Executive Vice President and COO of GreenHunter, Kirk Trosclair. The COO of Fountain Quail also previously worked for GreenHunter. Here’s the update that Fountain Quail is once again on the road to expansion, putting the past behind it…
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GreenHunter Lawsuit Against Former Employees Dismissed

In November 2015 MDN reported on a lawsuit filed by GreenHunter Resources (filed in October 2015) against two former GreenHunter employees and a competitor (see GreenHunter Sues 2 Former VPs + OH Competitor for Conspiracy). The lawsuit alleged that John Jack, former vice president of Appalachia operations for GreenHunter, and Noble “Rick” Zickefoose, former vice president and operations manager at GreenHunter left the company and subsequently shared privileged company secrets with Dean Grose, CEO of Comtech Industries and a principle with Water Energy Services (both companies competitors of GreenHunter). At the time we said it appeared GreenHunter had a strong case. We also said: “Of course there’s always two sides in these cases–so we must ‘presume innocence’ until the court finds otherwise.” Prescient words. From the beginning, all three defendants strongly maintained their innocence. Rick Zickefoose contacted MDN to let us know he has worked tirelessly to clear his good name. Rick told MDN, “I have been employed in the oil and gas industry of the Appalachian basin for more than 37 years. In the industry your reputation is everything.” He, and the other defendants, fought hard. In June their efforts were rewarded when the case was dismissed, “with prejudice” (meaning “permanently”). Rick and the other defendants are now cleared, their names and good reputations restored…
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GreenHunter Out of Bankruptcy, Merges with Fountain Quail Disposal

Kirk Trosclair
Kirk Trosclair

In December we reported the sad news that Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) finally had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (see Sad Day: Magnum Hunter Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). MHR has a variety of subsidiary companies. One of those companies, GreenHunter Resources (water and wastewater) also succumbed and filed for bankruptcy in March (see Another Sad Day: GreenHunter Resources Files for Bankruptcy). “Restructuring” as it’s called, was completed for GreenHunter in May and the company emerged from bankruptcy under the ownership of a private equity firm. GreenHunter has shed its name and merged with/taken on a new name: Fountain Quail Disposal. The CEO of Fountain Quail is the former Executive Vice President and COO of GreenHunter, Kirk Trosclair. So Trosclair survived the bankruptcy process, unlike his former boss Gary Evans (see Magnum Hunter Emerges from Bankruptcy with CEO Gary Evans Gone). Here’s what we know about GreenHunter becoming Fountain Quail Disposal…
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Another Sad Day: GreenHunter Resources Files for Bankruptcy

greenhunter resourcesIn December we reported the sad news that Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) finally had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (see Sad Day: Magnum Hunter Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). MHR has a variety of subsidiary companies. One of those companies, Eureka Hunter (midstream/pipelines) has so far stayed out of bankruptcy court. But a sibling to Eureka Hunter, GreenHunter Resources (water and wastewater) has now succumbed. Yesterday GreenHunter issued a statement (below) that it and its myriad of (on paper) subsidiary companies have filed for “reorganization” under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy law. GreenHunter owns injection wells in both West Virginia and Ohio and was hoping to barge frack wastewater/brine to those wells as a cheap form of transportation. Last week the U.S. Coast Guard effectively put an end to that dream (see Coast Guard Caves to Political Pressure, No Wastewater Barging). Is it coincidence that GreenHunter has now filed for bankruptcy? Perhaps, but we’re suspicious. GreenHunter wouldn’t be the first company the Obama Administration has driven out of business…
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Coast Guard Caves to Political Pressure, No Wastewater Barging

Ohio River bargeWhat a major shame and disappointment. The Obama bullies have gotten to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and convinced the once-proud protector of our waterways to withdraw a proposed policy they previously floated in 2013 to allow frack wastewater to be shipped on barges down rivers, like the Ohio. The USCG has officially withdrawn their previously published draft policy–a policy that never went into effect–and says drillers and barge operators can still potentially barge wastewater–but it will be on a case by case basis (they’ve yet to approve a single case). Lots of red tape and hoops to jump through, making it virtually impossible to get a shipment approved. It was one year ago this month that a controversy erupted when GreenHunter Resources said an existing USCG regulation from 1987 already grants them the right to barge produced water–i.e. brine, or the water that comes out of the hole long after frack wastewater or flowback is done coming out. The USCG disagreed (see GreenHunter/Coast Guard War of Words — MDN Explains It). GreenHunter kept up the pressure and said they would begin brine shipments without authorization from the USCG (see GreenHunter to Coast Guard, We’re Barging While You Fiddle Around). It is unclear to MDN whether or not that ever happened–we don’t believe GreenHunter ever did send a brine shipment via barge. What happens now? Can GreenHunter and others potentially barge brine “case by case”?…
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GreenHunter Board Member Sells All of His Company Stock

GreenHunter Resources, the wastewater subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR), has essentially become a penny stock. Parent company MHR is close to declaring bankruptcy (some are saying it’s all but a formality at this point). MRH’s status seems to be weighing on its subsidiary companies, like GreenHunter. One of the members of the Board of Directors for GreenHunter, Ronald H. Walker, sold 196,470 shares of company stock he owned last Wednesday and Thursday. That is, he sold ALL of the stock he owned in GreenHunter–every last share. What did he get for all of those shares? A measly $35,364.60. Next to nothing. It averaged 18 cents per share. What does Walker know that we should know?…
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GreenHunter Res. 3Q15: Net Loss Decreases, Brief MHR Mention

Yesterday GreenHunter Resources, the wastewater subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR), filed its third quarter 2015 financial and operational update. GreenHunter also held an earnings/analyst conference call to discuss the company’s performance in the last quarter and to look ahead at what’s coming. The company continues to lose money, but the money they’re losing is less now than it was a year ago–and the numbers are not all that big in the scheme of things. GreenHunter lost $1.3 million in 3Q15, compared to a $3.9 million loss in 3Q14. Things are getting better financially for the company. The two things we were most interested in were (1) any mention of the lawsuit they launched against two former vice presidents who allegedly conspired with a competitor against the company (see GreenHunter Sues 2 Former VPs + OH Competitor for Conspiracy); and (2) any word about GreenHunter’s parent company MHR and an impending declaration of bankruptcy (see Dire Straits: Magnum Hunter Tells SEC Heading for Bankruptcy). In scouring the press release (below) and transcript of the analyst call (portions below), we found only a single very brief reference to MHR’s problems, and nothing about the lawsuit…
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MHR’s GreenHunter Schedules 3Q15 Conference Call Next Week

Here’s something pretty innocuous, at least at first glance, but something we find interesting nonetheless. Yesterday GreenHunter Resources announced it will hold an operating results conference call next Monday, Nov. 16. There’s certainly not much that appears to be interesting about that. We see dozens (hundreds?) of such announcements each quarter. So what, about this one, caught our attention?…
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GreenHunter Sues 2 Former VPs + OH Competitor for Conspiracy

lawsuit8/4/17: There is an important update to this story. The lawsuit brought by GreenHunter was dismissed in June 2017. Please see this post for more details: GreenHunter Lawsuit Against Former Employees Dismissed.

A lawsuit filed by GreenHunter Resources against two former vice presidents of the company is just coming to light. On October 15 GreenHunter filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Ohio against John Jack, former vice president of Appalachia operations for GreenHunter, and against Rick Zickefoose, former vice president and operations manager at GreenHunter. The lawsuit also names Dean Grose, CEO of Comtech Industries and a principle with Water Energy Services–both competitors of GreenHunter. The lawsuit alleges that Jack and Zickefoose shared company secrets with a competitor and then left to work for that competitor, damaging GreenHunter in the process. Some of those secrets–a key part of it–dealt with GreenHunter’s talks with the U.S. Coast Guard over barging brine down the Ohio River…
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GreenHunter Brings Final 2 Injection Wells Online in Meigs, OH

finallyIn July MDN reported that GreenHunter Resources–the water resource, waste management, and environmental services subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources in the Marcellus/Utica–had brought two new wastewater injection wells online at their Mills Hunter facility in Meigs County, OH (see GreenHunter Brings 2 New Injection Wells Online in Meigs County, OH). At that time GreenHunter had four injection wells operating at the facility, with two final wells awaiting regulatory approval from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR). From a press release issued yesterday by GreenHunter, it appears the final two wells at the Mills Hunter facility are now online and operating. The only problem is with reduced drilling in the region, there’s not enough wastewater to keep them all as busy as they’d like…
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GreenHunter Changes Strategy with USCG re Wastewater Barging

change of strategyGreenHunter Resources, the fresh water and wastewater subsidiary of driller Magnum Hunter Resources, has changed strategies and has backed off their tough talk in dealing with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) with respect to barging brine down the Ohio River. You may recall MDN was the first to decipher just what was going on between GreenHunter and the USCG with respect to GreenHunter’s intention on barging (see GreenHunter/Coast Guard War of Words — MDN Explains It). The USCG is being manipulated by the Obama administration into blocking a request for GreenHunter to begin barging of wastewater (brine, actually). GreenHunter informed the USCG they have the legal right to do it under an existing 1987 rule that allows for it. The USCG has said not so fast, brine from shale wells may contain more radioactivity than brine from conventionally drilled oil and gas wells. In so many words, GreenHunter told the USCG they would move forward, daring the USCG to stop them (see GreenHunter to Coast Guard, We’re Barging While You Fiddle Around). As recently as May, GreenHunter claimed barging would begin soon (see GreenHunter Says OH River Wastewater Barging to Begin September). However, in an analyst conference call on Friday reviewing second quarter 2015 results, both parent company CEO Gary Evans and GreenHunter COO Kirk Trosclair changed their tune. Now GreenHunter is talking with the USCG again and attempting to convince them to let barging operations begin. You can hear the frustration both in GreenHunter’s comments, and in the comments by investors probing them on the topic…
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GreenHunter Resources 2Q15: Revenue Down, But Bleeding Less Too

GreenHunter Resources, the fresh water and wastewater subsidiary of driller Magnum Hunter Resources (now focused totally on the Marcellus/Utica), issued its second quarter 2015 update on Friday. The company is a small company compared to others in the oil and gas space with revenues in the few million per quarter. In 2Q15 GreenHunter’s revenues were $4.6 million, down 33% from $6.9 million in 2Q14. No surprise there since drillers are scaling back their activities. GreenHunter has trimmed its operating loss number–from $3 million in 2Q14 to $1.6 million in 2Q15–so the bleeding is slowing, a good sign. The 2Q15 update below brings us up to speed on a number of interesting initiatives at GreenHunter, including their new wastewater injection wells in Meigs County, OH. However, the interesting thing MDN picked up on was in the unscripted comments during GreenHunter’s earnings call held on Friday with analysts. That’s so important we’re dedicating a separate post to it today. Here is the 2Q15 update from GreenHunter…
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CELDF Tries to Shut Down GreenHunter’s OH Injection Wells

The radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is making mischief in neighboring Ohio. The CELDF is using some of its millions of Big Green dollars to file a lawsuit against Meigs County, OH Commissioners because the commissioners refuse to put an illegal ballot measure up for a vote in November. The CELDF pressured the citizens of Highland Township in Elk County, PA in 2013 to pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights–the same kind of law they want Meigs County to adopt (see today’s companion story about the ecosystem that speaks). Meigs County already has two injection wells recently brought online by GreenHunter Resources, with plans to bring another two online in the near future (see GreenHunter Brings 2 New Injection Wells Online in Meigs County, OH). GreenHunter has built out a barge terminal along the Ohio River in Meigs County where they plan to unload barged brine for disposal (see GreenHunter Resources 1Q15: Bets the Ranch on OH Injection Wells). The CELDF so-called Community Bill of Rights would stop GreenHunter’s injection wells and the barge terminal from operating. Can you imagine the lawsuits and the amount of money Meigs County residents would have to pay out if that happened? It would likely bankrupt the county. Meigs County commissioners rightly seek to protect the citizens they were elected to represent from this horrific economic apocalypse. And so now, the CELDF is suing Meigs commissioners because they won’t allow the ballot measure to proceed…
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GreenHunter Brings 2 New Injection Wells Online in Meigs County, OH

big newsBig news for GreenHunter Resources: They finally have two more wastewater injection wells up and running at their Mills Hunter facility in Meigs County, OH. In May we reported that GreenHunter was hoping to have four new injection wells operating at the Mills Hunter facility by the end of June, for a total of six operating wells (see GreenHunter Resources 1Q15: Bets the Ranch on OH Injection Wells). However, Mills Hunter has just two new wells now operating, for a total of four, and it’s nearly August. GreenHunter’s COO Kirk Trosclair continues to express his frustration at delays from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR), saying instead of taking 30-45 days for approvals (which is what it used to take), it’s now taking ODNR more than 90 days to issue approvals. GreenHunter has two more wells at the Mills Hunter facility working their way through the approval process now. But let’s not dwell on the negatives…
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FWAP Asks SEC to Investigate GreenHunter for False Statements

The anti-fossil fuelers are getting desperate. They’re concerned that GreenHunter Resources, a fresh water and frack wastewater company operating in the Marcellus/Utica, may actually pull it off and begin to barge frack wastewater (brine, actually) down the Ohio River. MDN was the first to disclose that GreenHunter is going to push back against the ongoing delays coming from the Obama White House in pressuring the U.S. Coast Guard to delay granting permission to GreenHunter to barge brine. We analyzed and told you what’s happening–that GreenHunter is using the Coast Guard’s own regulations from 1987 against them, using the definition of oilfield wastes to apply to brine from shale wells (see GreenHunter/Coast Guard War of Words — MDN Explains It). Essentially GreenHunter is daring the Coast Guard to take them to court to try and stop them (a brilliant move). GreenHunter says they will begin barging in three months’ time (see GreenHunter Says OH River Wastewater Barging to Begin September). Along comes the virulent anti-drilling organization FreshWater Accountability Project (FWAP, which we pronounce “fuh-wop”) with their own twist to try and stop GreenHunter. FWAP has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate GreenHunter for making false statements to investors about their permission (or lack thereof) to begin barge shipments of brine…
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GreenHunter Says OH River Wastewater Barging to Begin September

Ohio River bargeThe centerpiece of GreenHunter Resources strategy is to quickly ramp up, and start producing revenue from, a series of wastewater injection wells in Meigs County, OH (see GreenHunter Resources 1Q15: Bets the Ranch on OH Injection Wells). There are two ways wastewater, both flowback and brine, will get to the Meigs County wells (called the Mills Hunter facility): 1. trucking, 2. barging. For years MDN has covered the controversy about barging brine (and possibly flowback) down the Ohio River to injection wells in Ohio. The holdup–frankly the problem–has been that the Obama administration has been pressuring the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to withhold such approval. Never mind that substances far more toxic than shale wastewater are currently (right now) barged up and down the Ohio River every single day. That makes no difference. It’s public perception and how anti-drillers are able to warp and mold public opinion that is at issue here. After having their fill of waiting, GreenHunter made a brilliant move on the chessboard to break the stalemate. Using the USCG’s own rules and regulations against them, GreenHunter said current regulations issued in 1987 give them the right to barge brine–right now. And they intend to do so as soon as they have a facility built to load the barges. This is a little-covered aspect of this story and MDN, if we may immodestly say so, was the first and one of the few to figure it out (see GreenHunter/Coast Guard War of Words — MDN Explains It). Although a war of words has gone back and forth, GreenHunter has not backed down. During the 1Q15 earnings call we got an update on where things stand and a time frame for when GreenHunter plans to begin barging wastewater down the Ohio River…
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