Cabot O&G Fracks Its First OH Knox Well, Drilling 3rd OH Well

According to a news account from Ohio, Cabot Oil & Gas is either in the midst of, or just recently completed, fracking their very first shale well in central Ohio. The well is located in Ashland County’s Green Township. As we previously reported, Cabot is targeting the Knox formation (see Cabot O&G Opens Branch Office in OH – Hoping to Find Oil in Knox). Cabot has already drilled two wells, fracked one, and moved their drilling rig last week to Vermillion Township (also in Ashland County) to begin drilling a third well. The first three wells are all located in Ashland. As for the next two, Cabot isn’t 100% sure. Maybe another well in Ashland, but maybe a well in Richland County instead. Cabot’s George Stark says to stay tuned for the location of the final two test wells the company will drill. Cabot plans to have all five test wells drilled and fracked by the end of this year. “It should be a busy September and October,” according to Stark…
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Cabot O&G Opens Branch Office in OH – Hoping to Find Oil in Knox

Stratigraphy showing Knox Unconformity – click for larger version

Cabot Oil & Gas is drilling test wells in north central Ohio looking for “what’s next” after the Marcellus. Cabot began to push dirt around on its first OH wellpad (in Ashland) in April, and began to drill a hole on that pad in June (see Cabot O&G to Begin Drilling in Ashland County, OH This Week). Cabot has also begun drilling at a second site, and has filed for a permit to drill at a third site, in Vermillion Township in Ashland County (see Cabot Files Permit #3 for Knox Formation Test Well in Ashland, OH). We’ve read comments by Cabot that the type of exploration they’re doing in OH just as often doesn’t pan out as it does–no doubt trying to manage and tamp down expectations. However, actions speak louder than words. On Monday Cabot held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new (albeit small) branch office located in Jeromesville (Ashland County). Sure looks to us like things are getting serious! You don’t just sign a lease for office space if things don’t look promising. In the past Cabot has been cagey about which rock layer they’re targeting in Ohio. We know it’s not the Utica. Devon Energy previously tried drilling the Utica in Ashland and it didn’t work. While both the Knox and the Rome layers have been mentioned in Cabot’s permits, it appears it is the Knox layer that Cabot is targeting. Although Cabot doesn’t admit what they hope to find (oil, gas, NGLs), it’s clear they’re hoping to find oil. Below we have more details on the new office space, and more on the Knox and Cabot’s approach to drilling in it…
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Cabot’s Lease Terms for Ohio Landowners + Antis Stage Tiny Rally

We spotted an article covering a “rally” of maybe 20 people (judging by the pictures) who gathered on the bank of the Clear Fork of the Mohican River in Ashland County, OH this past Sunday. The group was there to protest Cabot Oil & Gas drilling a few test wells in the area to see if there’s anything in the region worth drilling for. Out of state radicals calling themselves “pipeline fighters” who had engaged in illegal activities against the Dakota Access Pipeline where there to whip up the locals–maybe convince them to do something illegal too. That’s how this kind of insanity spreads–by human contact. Anywho, the most interesting part of the article for us was not about the machinations of antis and their big boasts of how they’ll stop fracking. Instead, the most interesting part was an explanation of how Cabot came by the acreage they’ve leased in central Ohio, and how much money Cabot is offering landowners to amend existing lease agreements…
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OH Antis Attack Loudonville for Selling Water to Cabot for Drilling

Little red dot indicates where Loudonville, OH is located

At the Loudonville Village Council meeting on Monday, a dozen anti-drilling kooks “assailed” Mayor Steve Stricklen and council members over selling water to Cabot Oil & Gas to use in drilling (not fracking) several test wells in the area. Cabot is exploring north central Ohio as a potential spot for “what’s next” after their wildly successful Marcellus drilling program in Susquehanna County, PA. In typical fashion, lies and fearmongering were used in an attempt to shame Loudonville officials over water sales to Cabot. Loudonville sits on the border of Ashland and Homles counties. The village sells water to anyone who wants to buy, for 0.65 cents per gallon (a little over half a cent per gallon). So far Cabot has purchased 650,000 gallons from the village ($4,358). One of the antis said she’s fearful Cabot will dump the used fracking wastewater “contaminated by chemicals” in nearby Charles Mill Lake. It’s an outrageous and scurrilous allegation. We’ve personally seen Cabot’s first-rate wastewater recycling center in Susquehanna County. They recycle 100% of the wastewater coming out of the ground. But antis don’t bother to check on the facts–not when any old lying allegation will do…
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Cabot Files Permit #3 for Knox Formation Test Well in Ashland, OH

As we have reported since late last year, Cabot Oil & Gas, long-known for the incredible amount of Marcellus natural gas they produce from Susquehanna County in northeastern Pennsylvania, is eyeing north central Ohio as a potential spot for “what’s next” after the Marcellus (see Cabot O&G Considers Drilling in Ashland County, OH). Cabot locked up leases with plans to drill a number of test wells in not only Ashland, but also Holmes, Knox, Richland and Wayne counties in the Buckeye State (see New Details Emerge on Cabot’s Shale Plans in Central Ohio). Cabot began to push dirt around on its first wellpad (in Ashland) in April, and last week began to drill a hole on that pad (see Cabot O&G to Begin Drilling in Ashland County, OH This Week). They also began pushing dirt around on a second wellpad site. And now, Cabot has filed for a third permit to drill–in Vermillion Township in Ashland County. Cabot plans to drill into the Knox formation vertically, and if they find anything worthwhile, they will then drill horizontally…
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Cabot O&G to Begin Drilling in Ashland County, OH This Week

Location of Cabot’s 2 initial test wells (in green), tan regions show gas storage fields – click for larger version

As we have reported since late last year, Cabot Oil & Gas, long-known for the incredible amount of Marcellus natural gas they produce out of a single northeastern Pennsylvania county (Susquehanna), is eyeing north central Ohio as a potential spot for “what’s next” after the Marcellus (see Cabot O&G Considers Drilling in Ashland County, OH). Cabot locked up leases and is planning to drill a number of test wells in not only Ashland, but also Holmes, Knox, Richland and Wayne counties in the Buckeye State (see New Details Emerge on Cabot’s Shale Plans in Central Ohio). The company doesn’t know exactly what it will find–gas, NGLs or perhaps even oil–but they’re about to find out. In April Cabot began pushing dirt around to construct its first wellpad in Ashland (see New Cabot Drilling Program Kicks Off This Week in Ashland, OH). Sometime this week, the company will spud (drill) its first hole in the ground. Buckle up! This is an exciting time for landowners in Ashland County. Here’s more on Cabot’s new program in Ohio…
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New Cabot Drilling Program Kicks Off This Week in Ashland, OH

As we have reported since last December, Cabot Oil & Gas, long-known for the incredible amount of Marcellus natural gas they produce out of a single northeastern Pennsylvania county (Susquehanna), is eyeing north central Ohio as a potential spot for “what’s next” after the Marcellus (see Cabot O&G Considers Drilling in Ashland County, OH). Cabot locked up leases and is planning to drill a number of test wells in not only Ashland, but also Holmes, Knox, Richland and Wayne counties in the Buckeye State (see New Details Emerge on Cabot’s Shale Plans in Central Ohio). The company doesn’t know exactly what it will find–gas, NGLs or perhaps even oil (see Just What is Cabot Looking for in Ohio – NatGas, Oil or NGLs?). Cabot is about to find out. Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday), Cabot says they will start to push dirt around and build their very first well pad in Ashland County. If all goes according to plan, Cabot will spud (begin to drill) the well itself in about three weeks. Plans for a second well, also located in Ashland County, are already in the works and will come along after the first well is drilled…
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Just What is Cabot Looking for in Ohio – NatGas, Oil or NGLs?

Two days ago MDN revealed which rock layers Cabot Oil & Gas is targeting with new test wells in central Ohio (see New Details Emerge on Cabot’s Shale Plans in Central Ohio). Today we answer the question, What does Cabot hope to find? Cabot representative Brittany Ramos told an area newspaper that the company is looking for, “a hydrocarbon, an oil, natural gas, natural gas liquid, something, in the layers below the Utica Shale, but the only way to find that out is to actually drill a well and test.” In other words, they don’t know. They know *something* is down there, but they aren’t sure what. We suspect they’re hoping it’s either oil or NGLs. Cabot, long known for their prolific natural gas production in Susquehanna County, PA, had a previous dalliance with oil drilling in the Texas Eagle Ford shale play–assets they ended up selling in December 2017 (see Cabot O&G Sells Texas Eagle Ford Assets for $765M, Focus on Marc.). Does the company have a renewed interest in finding oil? Perhaps. If not oil, certainly NGLs. We seriously doubt they’re looking for yet another dry gas zone. Below is yet another update on Cabot’s foray into central OH. It is one of the more fair and balanced articles we’ve read. Yes, the reporter interviewed a representative from the faux “landowner group” called the Tri-County Landowners Coalition–in reality an anti-fossil fuel group controlled by elements of the Big Green movement (see Fake Ohio Landowner Groups Launch Misinformation Campaign). In this article the reporter actually asks Cabot to respond to the wild claims made by the Tri-County rep, point for point. Cabot obliterates the anti’s arguments…
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New Details Emerge on Cabot’s Shale Plans in Central Ohio

Click for larger version

Cabot Oil & Gas director of external affairs, George Stark, recently spoke to the Ashland Times-Gazette about the company’s plans to drill test wells in and around Ashland County, OH. As MDN previously reported, Cabot is sniffing around central Ohio, looking for “what’s next” after the Marcellus Shale. Last December we told you that Cabot has leased acreage in Ashland County (see Cabot O&G Considers Drilling in Ashland County, OH). Two weeks ago we told you that Cabot has filed for its first permit to drill a test well (see Cabot Files for Permit to Drill Below the Utica in Ashland, OH). Stark revealed, in his interview, that Cabot geologists “see something in Ohio” and that Cabot “wants to go touch it.” What, exactly, does Cabot want to touch? We originally thought it was the Utica, but Stark told MDN no, it’s not the Utica–but a layer “lower than the Utica.” However, Stark won’t say specifically which layer or layers. We now think we know. We also learn (from the article) that Cabot has acreage not only in Ashland, but in four neighboring counties too…
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Cabot Files for Permit to Drill Below the Utica in Ashland, OH

Click image for larger version

Cabot Oil & Gas continues its quest to discover “what’s next after the Marcellus.” As we told you in December, Cabot has leased acreage in Ashland County, OH, west of most active Utica drilling (see Cabot O&G Considers Drilling in Ashland County, OH). We originally thought Cabot was targeting the Utica in Ashland County, but Cabot director of external affairs, George Stark, set us straight. Cabot is targeting a layer below the Utica in Ashland County. (Although so far, Cabot will not reveal which layer.) The new news is that last week Cabot filed for a permit with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources to drill a test well in Ashland…
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OH Fractivist Claims Obliterated with Cold, Hard Facts from NEPA

MDN friend Chris Acker, standing in front of a rig about 200 yards from his house in NEPA

In December MDN brought you the news that Cabot Oil & Gas is sniffing around Ashland County, OH, with plans to possibly drill in a rock layer even deeper than the Utica Shale (see Cabot O&G Considers Drilling in Ashland County, OH). Cabot’s activity in the area was met with resistance by anti-fossil fuelers. Nothing new about that. What is new, however, is that some of the antis (a handful) in the Ashland area formed a faux landowner coalition, trying to fool landowners into joining them (see Warning to Ohio Residents: Beware Fake Landowner Coalitions). The faux landowner coalition has been busy spreading lies about Cabot, making wild accusations about what will happen if Cabot is allowed to drill in the county. MDN friend (and right arm) Chris Acker, a northeast PA landowner signed with Cabot, has written a guest post/rebuttal that obliterates the lies being spread by Ashland antis. Buckle up, this one will be fun to read!…
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Cabot O&G Considers Drilling in Ashland County, OH

Important Update (12/18/17) – A highly placed source in Cabot Oil & Gas called MDN to let us know Cabot is not looking to drill the Utica Shale in Ashland County, OH, as we first presumed. Instead, Cabot is looking to drill LOWER than the Utica–in a different rock layer. We were not told which layer. This is purely exploratory. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss. Something about the area has caught Cabot’s attention–but that doesn’t mean it will pan out. Stay tuned!

This, for us, is HUGE news. Cabot Oil & Gas is sniffing around the possibility of drilling in the Ohio Utica. We suppose it shouldn’t surprise us, but it does. Especially since we haven’t heard or read a word about Cabot’s Utica interest–until now. Put yourself in Cabot’s shoes–what comes next? After all, they’ve been drilling in Susquehanna County, PA for the last 10 years. Sooner or later Cabot will run out of new places to sink wells. Cabot previously fiddled around in the Eagle Ford Shale play in Texas, drilling for oil, but that hasn’t panned out. In May, MDN picked up on a little bit of information slipped into Cabot’s first quarter update–the company is spending $125 million THIS YEAR on buying leases and drilling test wells, in plays they weren’t ready to disclose at that point (see Cabot O&G 1Q17 – Oil Turning Cabot’s Eye Away from Marcellus). The only hint we had about where Cabot may be looking was this statement: “our focus is going to be oil.” We now know where at least some of that $125M is going–to Ashland County, OH. Cabot is looking to drill an exploratory well (or two or three) in Ashland, to see what they find. We think Cabot’s choice of location interesting. Ashland County is located well west (and north) of Ohio counties currently drilled for Utica oil and gas. We’ve checked the statistics in our forthcoming Marcellus & Utica Shale Almanac. Devon Energy got a single permit and spud (began to drill) a single well in Ashland’s Utica Shale back in 2011. Since that time (and through the end of 2016) no other permits were issued, and there’s been zero production from that single Devon well. It’s likely Cabot is shopping for a bargain–go where no one else is going, to see if they can make the magic happen once again that they’ve experienced in northeast PA. The reason we know about Cabot’s dalliance in Ashland is because local antis in the county are up in arms over the prospect of Cabot “fracking” the county…
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Ohio EPA Continues Vendetta Against Rover Pipe, Demands HDD Stop

In September MDN told you about Craig Butler, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), that Bulter had gone off the rails on a power trip, claiming OEPA has the power to regulate the federally regulated Rover Pipeline project (see Ohio EPA’s Craig Butler Goes Nuts, Demands $2.3M from Rover Pipe). Butler is fining Rover for a string of some major, mostly minor drilling mud spills related to underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD). Earlier this month Butler fleeced the Ohio Attorney General into suing Rover (see OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline). Like Captain Ahab obsessed with Moby-Dick, Butler continues his quest to stop Rover. Butler’s latest attempt is to “request” (i.e. demand) Rover stop all HDD work now under way because another drilling mud spill happened on November 16th. The latest spill (called an “inadvertent return”) was 200 gallons and ended up in the Black Fork Mohican River in Ashland County. For new MDN readers: drilling mud is bentonite clay–the same stuff used to make kitty litter, toothpaste and cosmetics. It’s nontoxic and perfect safe for the environment–unless there’s a lot of it, and then it can smother critters like salamanders and fish. But honestly, 200 gallons of it is NOTHING. Butler sent a letter to Rover and has also sent it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in yet another attempt to get FERC to halt all Rover HDD work…
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Flip Side: Some OH Utica Shale Wells Get Plugged/Abandoned

When it comes to drilling in the Ohio Utica Shale, a lot of attention has been focused on the ramp up in activity—the growing number of drilling rigs, huge land lease deals, and eye-popping initial production results for some of the wells drilled. But there is another side to the story.

Every now and again, a well does not produce. Could be the driller did not properly find the shale layer (extremely rare). Could be they did find it but for whatever reason the layer doesn’t produce in that area. More likely there were problems during the drilling that caused the work to be stopped—like a broken-off drill bit. In Ohio, there have been nine Utica Shale wells that have been plugged and abandoned (so far). Here’s where they are located and who did the drilling:

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The Best (and Not So Best) Utica Drilling Locations in Ohio

choosing the bestA recent shale gas conference held in Cambridge, Ohio on Nov. 10 turned up some surprising and interesting facts. One of those facts: Almost 100 percent of the land in Carroll County has been leased for possible Utica shale drilling, or is being held by production.

Here’s a few more interesting items from the conference, shared by a team from Ohio State University Extension (including where drilling is producing good results, and where it’s not):

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Devon Reports Disappointing Results in 2 NW OH Utica Wells

Devon Energy reports “not encouraging” results from two wells in Ohio’s Utica Shale, one in Ashland County, the other in neighboring Medina County—both in the northwestern corner of the Utica Shale in Ohio. Although Devon is not saying whether or not they will drill more wells in that area, they have indicated they will drill more wells to the east.

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