GreenHunter Resources 1Q15: Bets the Ranch on OH Injection Wells

A lot of news to report about GreenHunter Resources, the fresh water and wastewater subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources, focused totally on the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. On Friday GreenHunter released their first quarter 2015 update and held an earnings call with analysts. If we could sum it up in our own layman’s terms–we’d say GreenHunter is currently treading water (pun intended) as they wait to turn around their lack of revenue by bringing online a series of wastewater injection wells in both Ohio and West Virginia. Although GreenHunter’s COO Kirk Trosclair rightly pointed out the company has gotten much more efficient–driving down costs–there’s no papering over the fact that GreenHunter’s revenues for 1Q15 were down 39% from the same quarter in 2014 ($5.1 million in 1Q15 vs. $8.5 million in 1Q14). Which seems odd as GreenHunter’s CEO, Gary Evans, said that the company currently turns down 20 to 25,000 barrels a day of water that they can’t handle because they are currently “full.” GreenHunter currently has two operating injection wells at their Mills Hunter facility, located in Meigs County, OH and one injection well operating in Ritchie County, WV. By the end of June they plan to have six wells operating at the Mills facility and a second well at the Ritchie location…
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GreenHunter & USCG Argue over Barging, Homeland Security Reviews

Ohio River bargeGreenHunter Resources continues to aggressively push back against the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) with respect to barging brine from shale wells. Yesterday was the latest flare-up in the war of words between GreenHunter and the USCG. Once again GreenHunter COO Kirk Trosclair said the way they read the rules, they have permission under existing 1987 rules to barge it. And once again the USCG said no you don’t–not until we say you do. The latest twist is that the USCG says that brine might have high levels of radioactivity and so now the Dept. of Homeland Security is reviewing the whole matter. Which is a neat way of corrupting the issue–just claim there’s a national security issue and that shuts it all down. Still, GreenHunter is committed to begin barge shipments this year. However, we also learned yesterday that those shipments will not originate at GreenHunter’s proposed facility near Wheeling, WV…
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GreenHunter Releases 2014 Update, Plans to Barge Brine in 2015

GreenHunter Resources, the fresh water and wastewater subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources, reported their fiscal year 2014 and 2014 operating results yesterday–in both a press release (below) and an analyst phone call (excerpts below). MDN eagerly scoured the announcement and a transcript of the analyst call for mention of the ongoing controversy of barging brine down the Ohio River. GreenHunter is building and has nearly completed four new injection wells in Meigs County, OH. They plan to begin barging brine to those wells sometime this year, according to GreenHunter COO Kirk Trosclair. GreenHunter has a major/ongoing disagreement with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) over whether or not guidelines issued in 1987 allow them to transport brine from shale wells (see GreenHunter Keeps Pressure on USCG to Barge Brine on Ohio River). While there’s no mention of the USCG or lack of a USCG permit, there was plenty of talk about barge operations beginning by the end of this year…
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GreenHunter Keeps Pressure on USCG to Barge Brine on Ohio River

GreenHunter Resources is keeping up the pressure on the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)–essentially daring them to stop GreenHunter from proceeding with barging brine–or produced water–from shale wells down the Ohio River (see GreenHunter to Coast Guard, We’re Barging While You Fiddle Around). In new comments last week, GreenHunter’s Chief Operating Officer Kirk Trosclair reaffirmed his company is proceeding with its plan to begin barging from a facility in Wheeling, WV. Meanwhile, so-called “environmental” groups are organizing and joining forces with the Wheeling Water Warriors (Warriors, Warriors, Warriors…that’s an echo you hear for our superheros) to oppose GreenHunter from barging a substance that isn’t anywhere near as toxic as the chemicals that currently float down the river on barges every single day. Here’s what Trosclair said last week…
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GreenHunter to Coast Guard, We’re Barging While You Fiddle Around

fiddle aroundAs MDN chronicled on Friday, there is a dispute between GreenHunter Resources and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) over what, exactly, constitutes “oil field waste” (see GreenHunter/Coast Guard War of Words — MDN Explains It). If we might toot our own horn for a moment, we were the first to understand and share that understanding of the key issue, which is whether or not produced water (“brine”) from horizontal wells is essentially the same chemically as produced water from vertical-only wells. That is what GreenHunter and the USCG disagree about. GreenHunter says it is the same thing, and the USCG isn’t so sure. On Saturday, our interpretation of that key issue was confirmed by USCG statements–they remain concerned that low levels of radiation, which may or may not be present in produced water from horizontal wells, DOES make shale well produced water potentially different from regular old produced water from vertical wells…
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GreenHunter/Coast Guard War of Words — MDN Explains It

war of wordsMDN now believes we have the full story, and a proper understanding, for the current war of words between GreenHunter and the U.S. Coast Guard over the issue of barging produced water, sometimes referred to as brine, on the Ohio River and other inland waterways. On Wednesday MDN brought the news that GreenHunter claimed the Coast Guard has given the all clear to begin barge shipments of brine (see US Coast Guard Approves Brine Shipping via Barge on Ohio River). Yesterday we reported a response from the Coast Guard saying no, they haven’t decided and haven’t given clearance (see Breaking: Coast Guard Says They Did NOT Grant Barge Permission to GreenHunter). Yesterday GreenHunter, a publicly traded company, filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) challenging the Coast Guard’s statement. It all comes down to semantics. MDN has spoken with a barge operator, has read the GreenHunter SEC statement (below), and we now think we know what is happening…
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Breaking: Coast Guard Says They Did NOT Grant Barge Permission to GreenHunter

PinocchioWas GreenHunter fibbing when they claimed the U.S. Coast Guard has given them permission to barge produced water down the Ohio River? MDN brought you the news yesterday that parent company MagnumHunter CEO Gary Evans and GreenHunter COO Kirk Trosclair said they have received approval from the U.S. Coast Guard to ship produced water via barge down the Ohio River (see US Coast Guard Approves Brine Shipping via Barge on Ohio River). You can listen to them say it themselves on this analyst phone call. However, according to an article in today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Coast Guard is saying that’s not true–they have NOT yet given a final go-ahead to GreenHunter…
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GreenHunter Faces Challenge to Get Wheeling Barge Facility OK’d

Yesterday MDN shared the big news that GreenHunter Resources has now received permission from the U.S. Coast Guard to haul produced water via barge down the Ohio River (see US Coast Guard Approves Brine Shipping via Barge on Ohio River). Today that assertion is in question (see our related story on the Coast Guard’s response). Aside from the question of whether the Coast Guard did or did not grant permission for barging of produced water, GreenHunter has another problem–getting permission to load the water onto barges in the first place at their facility in Wheeling, WV…
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US Coast Guard Approves Brine Shipping via Barge on Ohio River

Big NewsSome big news coming from GreenHunter Resources, the wastewater disposal arm of MagnumHunter Resources. As MDN has chronicled for the past several years, MagnumHunter has been trying to secure a permit from the U.S. Coast Guard to transport frack wastewater via barges down the Ohio River. The Coast Guard floated a preliminary plan to allow it all the way back in November 2013 (see More on Coast Guard Plan to Allow Barging of Frack Wastewater). However, until now, they have withheld permission due to meddling by The White House and other federal agencies. According to a conference call last week, MagnumHunter/GreenHunter officials said the Coast Guard “quietly” granted permission in December to allow them to begin barge shipments down the Ohio River. The permission apparently applies only to brine, or “produced water” and not flowback for frack wastewater…
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GreenHunter Cancels Deal with Michigan Co to Build 3 Pipelines

In June, GreenHunter Resources (water subsidiary of Magnum Hunter) announced it would build three new shortish pipelines in the Tri-state area–one each for brine/wastewater, fresh water, and condensate (see 3 New (Short) Pipelines from GreenHunter in Tri-state Area). We later learned that the three pipelines would terminate at a facility located near Wheeling, WV (see Mystery Solved: GreenHunter Pipelines to Terminate Near…). GreenHunter cut a deal with Major Pipeline of Michigan, which was supposed to build and operate the pipeline system on behalf of GreenHunter. But something happened on the way to the Forum. Major Pipeline couldn’t raise the money it needed to fund the projects, so GreenHunter has canceled the plan to use Major Pipeline…
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GreenHunter 3Q14: More Red Ink; Wastewater Volumes Go Up

GreenHunter Resources, the midstream (pipelines & disposal wells) division of Magnum Hunter Resources, issued their third quarter update yesterday. The company continues to bleed money: They’ve lost $6.1 million year-to-date during the first 9 months of this year (vs losing $1.8 million during the same period last year). However, amidst the bad news there was some good news: four new Class II saltwater injection wells in Meigs County, OH are almost ready to go online, and total wastewater disposal volumes are up 41% over this time last year. Now if they can only stop the bleeding on the profit side of the ledger…
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GreenHunter Gets Green Light for 4 New OH Injection Wells

This one won’t please the anti-drilling nutters in Ohio. GreenHunter Resources (division of Magnum Hunter) announced on Tuesday they have received permits and have concluded successful testing to bring four new Utica/Marcellus wastewater injection wells online in Meigs County, OH. With the addition of these four new injection wells, GreenHunter will be operating a total of 13 such wells. Each of the new wells can handle 3,000-5,000 barrels of brine/wastewater per day. According to GreenHunter, most of that new capacity coming online is already spoken for. They already have major drillers locked up as customers for the new capacity because the need is so great. The company also says the wells are ready to be begin accepting wastewater that’s barged down the Ohio River (hint hint U.S. Coast Guard)…
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Athens, OH Anti-Frackers Demand Army Corps Count Each Form Letter

The silly (and vacuous) “protesters” who don’t want GreenHunter to build a barge facility on the Ohio River (where there are what, dozens, hundreds of such facilities?) think that if they can convince enough like-minded (we use the term “minded” loosely) anti-fossil fuelers to sign their John Hancock on form letters that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should count each form letter individually instead of lumping them together. So instead of a “massive” 4,000 form letters received, the Corps records getting “fewer than 1,000” so-called protest letters against the wastewater barge facility. Appearances and raw numbers are all that matter to the carbon energy-allergic members of the Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN). What’s the answer for this small group of people whose lives have no meaning apart from being against something? According to ACFAN and their odious backers at Food & Water Watch–sign more form letters to demand the Corps count their previous form letters!…
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Mystery Solved: GreenHunter Pipelines to Terminate Near…

Now that U.S. Coast Guard’s comment period for barging frack wastewater is officially closed and a positive decision to move forward is likely, we expect to see more movement from GreenHunter Water on building out their barge facility near Wheeling, WV. As part of GreenHunter’s master plan, the company announced at the end of June that they will build three new (short) pipelines, one each dedicated to brine/wastewater, fresh water, and condensate (see 3 New (Short) Pipelines from GreenHunter in Tri-state Area). The three pipelines will all terminate in the same location–but until now, GreenHunter has been cagey about where (see GreenHunter’s Unidentified Barge Facility Pipeline Destination). We said at the time the betting money is on GreenHunter’s facility in Wheeling. Were we right?…
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AAF Fails to Get Many to Oppose Barged Frack Wastewater

Americans Against Fracking (AAF), a loose confederation of virulent anti-drilling groups who oppose fossil fuels and their use in society, has issued a press release to commemorate/mourn the closing of the comment period on whether or not the U.S. Coast Guard and a myriad of other federal agencies should allow barging of frack wastewater on the Ohio River. Even though AAF has multiple groups backing it–including the odious and misnamed Food & Water Watch–they were only able to get 3,400 people to sign form letters opposing federal approval for barging of frack wastewater. And so the propaganda machine at AAF has tried to spin that into a positive. What other choice do they have?…
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GreenHunter Resources 2Q14: Still Waiting to Launch

waiting to launchGreenHunter Resources (i.e. GreenHunter Water) issued their second quarter 2014 update yesterday. We have the update below so you can read through it. Our quick take: GreenHunter is still “waiting to launch.” They are an important player in the freshwater/wastewater management arena for the Marcellus and Utica region. But the company is small (total revenue for the first six months of 2014 was just north of $15 million). According to GreenHunter’s COO, the projects they’re working on for the rest of this year and in 2015 will take the business “to an entirely new level.” If the Coast Guard allows them to launch barge shipments, we think he’s right. Revenue for the first six months of 2014 is up a very health 45%, and the bleeding (losses) have slowed from $0.30 per share for the first six months in 2013 to $0.14 per share for the first six months of 2014…
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