Riverkeeper/CAC/PennFuture Make the Case for PennEast & Adelphia

After we picked ourselves up off the floor from laughing so hard, it dawned on us the far-left radicals at THE Delaware Riverkeeper, Clean Air Council and PennFuture have done both the PennEast Pipeline and Adelphia Gateway pipeline projects a HUGE beneficial service. Those three nutty groups commissioned and have just released a new “study” (copy below) that uses data to show PennEast and Adelphia together, WHEN (not if) they get built, will mean that PA drillers have to drill and connect another 1,913 to 3,061 new shale wells to feed them. Well duuuh! Of course it means that!! And that’s a GREAT thing for all of PA. More economic stimulus. More jobs. More tax revenues flowing to local municipalities. (Do these groups know they’ve just handed us a new argument in favor of these pipelines?)
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How Oil Crash/Virus has Altered Future of NatGas, NGLs, Midstream

Everyone, and we mean everyone, is still reeling from the double shock of the COVID-19 coronavirus and its effect on the world economy, and the Saudis and Russians pumping more oil, driving oil prices into the ground. Frankly, the COVID-19 virus is the bigger deal. It will have long-lasting effects for years to come on the U.S. economy, including a big effect on the oil and gas industry. The question is, what kind of effect? Is there any way to predict what may happen in the coming couple of years and longer? No one can really predict, but if anyone could, it would be the bright minds at RBN Energy. They’ve attempted the near-impossible: Try to predict how things will change following the COVID-19 lockdown (around March 6). Try to divine how the oil and gas (and NGL and midstream) worlds will change in the coming months and years. Their assessment is sobering.
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Tiny Ceramic Beads Boost Utica Production, but Not Marcellus

We spotted an interesting article appearing in the American Oil & Gas Reporter about results from using tiny ceramic beads as a proppant in oil and gas wells in several shale plays. Typically sand is used as a proppant to “prop open” tiny fractures to allow oil and gas to escape from shale rock. Sometimes ceramic beads are used. The article is based on a paper delivered at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Hydraulic Fracturing Technical Conference & Exhibition, held Feb. 4-6 in The Woodlands, Texas. Of particular interest to us are the findings for the Utica and Marcellus. The “micropropped” Utica wells showed a marked increase in oil production, while no such increase in production happened in micropropped Marcellus wells.
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Stranded NatGas Helps Find Cure for COVID-19 Coronavirus

What happens when an oil driller has a well or two or dozen where they get great oil production, but there are no pipelines connected to cart away the associated natural gas that comes out of the borehole along with the oil? There are only a couple of options–venting (releasing methane into the air) and flaring (burning the methane, turning it into carbon dioxide). There are a number of innovative companies that have a new solution: Go ahead and burn the methane, but burn it to produce electricity, and use the electricity (at the well site) to power computers. The computers are connected to a network of other computers and form a sort of supercomputer. Crusoe Energy Systems is one of those innovative companies, now using their distributed computing systems at oil wells to work on computations aimed at finding a vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
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Debrosse Memorial Report: 2019 Ohio Oil Production Breaks Record

Earlier this month the Ohio Oil & Gas Association (OOGA) held its 73rd annual Winter Meeting in Columbus. One of the speakers was Martin Shumway, technical director at Locus Bio-Energy Solutions. Shumway shared details from the latest DeBrosse Memorial Report (full copy below). What does the report show for 2019? Ohio oil production hit the highest level ever in state history in 2019. There were 406 oil and gas wells completed last year, of which 351 (86%) were Utica wells. Belmont County saw the most wells drilled (80). Ascent Resources (formerly American Energy Partners) drilled the most wells last year in Ohio (104 wells), up 49% from 2018.
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Who Sold the Most NatGas in the U.S. in 4th Quarter 2019?

Who are the biggest natural gas sellers in the U.S.? You might be surprised to learn that the biggest *sellers* are not necessarily the biggest *producers* of natural gas. Oh, you might recognize some of the names of the top sellers (BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips). But others might be more of a mystery (Macquarie, Tenaska, Sequent, and J. Aron & Co.). Would it surprise you to learn that BP (i.e. British Petroleum) is the #1 seller of natgas in the U.S., and has been for years?
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EIA Report: M-U Gas Production WAY Down March, April

Each month the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) produces its Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), our favorite monthly report. The DPR estimates how much oil and natural gas each of the country’s seven largest shale plays produced in the previous (current) month, and how much each will produce in the coming (next) month. The February DPR showed, for the first time, combined natgas production from all shale plays would decrease beginning in March (see EIA: Shale NatGas Production Declines First Time in 39 Months). The EIA tweaks their numbers up and down each month. They badly underestimated how much of a gas production drop all shale plays would experience in March, including the Marcellus/Utica.
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Report: Marcellus & Utica Natural Gas Dilemma a Microcosm of U.S.

Enverus, a leading oil and gas SaaS and data analytics company, yesterday released its latest FundamentalEdge report, called “Marcellus Natural Gas Flows,” which is focused on natural gas production and pipeline flow patterns in the Marcellus and Utica formations in the Northeast, MidAtlantic, and Midwestern regions of the U.S. Enervus measures gas flows along pipelines and as part of the preview of their report has shared with MDN some fascinating information. Like this: Some 41% of the gas produced in the Marcellus flows to the Mid-Atlantic region. Who knew?!
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Natural Gas Production in U.S. Hits Highest-Ever in 2019

Although in 2019 the price of natural gas began a decline, and gas-focused companies scaled back drilling programs, the U.S. still hit a new all-time high record of natural gas production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says U.S. natural gas production measured as gross withdrawals (the most comprehensive measure of natural gas production) averaged 111.5 Bcf/d in 2019, the highest volume on record. The biggest jump in production in 2019 did not come from associated gas in the Permian Basin. Rather, the biggest jump came from (yep) the Marcellus/Utica.
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National Energy Tech Lab Helps Shale Companies Frack Better

At first efforts by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and its Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory (launched five years ago) was aimed at tests to ensure fracking of shale wells (in all regions) does not harm the environment. It worked. NETL did prove that modern drilling and fracking is safe. Now the NETL mission has changed. New NETL tests launched across the country over the past year will help drillers understand how to frack even better than they do now! Yes, it can help drillers with their bottom line, but the purpose of NETL’s testing goes far beyond that.
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Making the Case PA Marcellus Production Needs to Shrink

Mudrock Energy is a consulting company based near Pittsburgh that provides specialized geoscience analysis and market research across the energy industry. Mudrock founder and CEO Dave Boyer, an AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist, recently worked up an analysis of Pennsylvania’s shale production. He published his research on the Medium website and sent us a link with an encouragement to share it with the MDN audience. In his analysis, Boyer makes the case that PA’s continuing expansion of ever more production needs to stop. NOW.
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NETL: U.S. Needs More NatGas Pipelines to Power Electric Plants

NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory), one of our country’s treasured national lab facilities, recently released a report and case study that shows if we as a country want reliability in our electric grid (no blackouts), we need to build more natural gas pipelines to feed natgas-fired power plants. “As the electric power system relies more heavily on natural gas power generation, the reliability and resiliency of the Nation’s electrical system will become increasingly linked to the performance and capabilities of the natural gas delivery system.” How much more in the way of new pipelines are needed? “Conservatively, an investment of $470 million to $1.1 billion over that already entrained in the long-haul natural gas transmission system is identified to avoid even worse outcomes.” Start the backhoes!
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Study: Frack Ban Will Kill American Economy, Lower GDP $7.1T

The American Petroleum Institute recently released the results of a study they commissioned that outlines the “dire consequences” of a ban on hydraulic fracturing–the kind of ban being pushed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden. Here’s how dire it gets: If a frack ban is slapped into place by a Democrat President, by 2022 it will result in 7.5 million lost jobs, and by 2030 a total loss out of the economy of $7.5 TRILLION! You might as well say we will enter a new economic depression, the likes of which we haven’t experienced since the 1930s.
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Fake Research Coins New Shale Buzzword: “Fraccidents”

For years anti-fossil fuel zealots have used and abused the word “fracking” and its derivatives to describe horizontal hydraulic fracturing, and more generically to describe the entire shale oil and gas industry (drilling, pipelines, etc.). Antis love to slip in phrases like “fracked gas” and refer to those who work in the industry as “frackers.” They call themselves “fracktivists.” It all sounds so naughty. We happen to love the word and we embrace it, to shove it right back in their faces (others in our industry do not like the word and sometimes chide us for using it). A couple of so-called researchers have coined a new fracking-related term: “fraccidents.”
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Ohio Utica O&G Production Hits New Record High in 4Q19

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued fourth-quarter 2019 numbers for Utica shale oil and gas production last Friday. The numbers show new state record highs for quarterly oil and natural gas production, the most ever since quarterly reporting began in 2013. Utica oil production was up 17% over 4Q18, and Utica natural gas production was up 3.2% over 4Q18.
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Top 11 Shale Drillers in Pennsylvania by # of Wells Drilled

One of our favorite publications to read is the Pittsburgh Business Times. The PBT recently researched and published a list of the “Largest Shale Gas Drillers in Pennsylvania.” It’s a really great list and resource–listing 40 shale drillers with details including how many wells they’ve drilled total (all time) in the state, how many wells drilled in 2019, company HQ info and a few other details. We’ve extracted the names and a few details for the top 11 drillers.
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