OH Supremes Rule Landowners have 21 Yrs to Claim Lease Expiration

An interesting Ohio Supreme Court ruling from last week caught our attention, thanks to the legal beagles at Vorys. As with most of these cases, this one is complex. But we want to highlight *why* it’s important right up front: Landowners (or mineral rights owners, usually the one and the same but not always) have a longer period of time, 21 years, to bring an action to reclaim their severed mineral rights than the previously thought 15 years–in certain situations. That was the upshot in Browne v. Artex Oil Co.
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AEP Retains Drilling Rights for 31K Acres of Park Land Sold to OH

American Electric Power (AEP) recently sealed a deal to sell more than 31,000 acres of land in eastern Ohio to the state of Ohio for $47 million. The state will use it for a state park. However, subsurface rights are not part of the deal. AEP will wisely hold on those rights. At some point AEP may want to drill and frack the land, and that has antis in a tizzy.
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Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Beginning Construction in OH

Artist rendering of Guernsey Power Plant (click for larger version)

Construction on what we believe to be the country’s largest natural gas-fired electric plant, the Guernsey Power Station (being built in Guernsey County, Ohio), is set to begin “immediately” according to the company hired to do the engineering, procurement and construction activities (EPC). Last week Caithness Energy, the project developer, announced it has closed on $1.6 billion worth of financing for the project and has given the green light to Gemma Power Systems to begin construction of the plant.
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OH Court Says Internet Search to Find Mineral Owners Not Required

How much “due diligence” must a landowner engage in when it comes to locating a long lost mineral rights owner in Ohio? According to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA), the landowner who wants to reclaim mineral rights that were severed must (a) send a certified letter to the last known address of the rights owner, and (b) if that doesn’t work, publish a notice in local newspapers to try and find the long lost rights owner. After that, the landowner can reclaim the mineral rights (an oversimplification, but you get the idea).
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Massive OH NatGas Power Plant Delays Groundbreaking to March ’19

In June, Apex Power Group said that their planned Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for Guernsey County, OH–would break ground this year (see Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Breaking Ground in OH Oct-Nov). Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. However, reliable sources say construction is now set to begin on this massive, 1,650 megawatt station, in March 2019.
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Ascent Resources Spends $1.5 Billion to Buy OH Utica Acreage, Wells

Last Thursday, Ascent Resources, a company founded by Aubrey McClendon after he left Chesapeake Energy, announced it is buying 113,400 Utica Shale acres along with 93 operating wells located in eastern Ohio for $1.5 billion. The new acreage tips Ascent over the 300,000 Utica acre line and catapults the company into one of the largest privately owned drillers (exploration and production) in the U.S. The companies doing the selling are CNX Resources and Hess (selling a joint venture they co-owned, each selling their share for $400 million each, for a total of $800 million), Utica Minerals Development (a subsidiary of First Reserve, a private equity firm headquartered in Greenwich, CT, and EMG), and a fourth, unnamed mystery seller. The CNX/Hess acreage (78,000 net acres of the 113,400 acres) is located in the wet gas window of Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison and Noble counties. We’re not sure about the location of the other acreage. The CNX/Hess jv sale marks Hess’ total exit from the Utica Shale. So how will Ascent pay for all of their new shiny new assets? After all, they only just emerged from bankruptcy in April (see Ascent Resources Marcellus Exits Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). [Correction: Ascent Resources Marcellus was the part of the Ascent business that filed for bankruptcy and is not related to Ascent Resources Utica and this new transaction.] Ascent will pay for it by issuing $965 million in new shares of equity (private stock), and borrowing $535 million under their existing line of credit…
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Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Breaking Ground in OH Oct-Nov

In April 2016 MDN told you about the Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for Guernsey County, OH (see New Utica-Powered Electric Plant Proposed for Guernsey County, OH). Apex Power Group at that time said they want to build a large 1,100 megawatt plant in Valley Township–producing enough electricity to power 1 million homes. Apex said construction is targeted to begin in 2018 and the plant will go online in 2020. At the end of December 2017, Apex and joint venture partner Caithness Energy filed a pre-application for the project–and the application showed they no longer want to build an 1,100 megawatt plant, but instead a whopping 1,650 megawatt plant (see Planned OH Utica-Powered Electric Plant Goes from 1,100 to 1,650 MW). That’s the biggest natgas-fired electric plant we’ve heard of so far–anywhere. A record-holder! We spotted an article in the local Daily Jeffersonian (Cambridge, OH) that says Apex is on track to break ground this coming October/November, which is fabulous news, although that time frame is delayed from a previously announced May start…
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Update on Hess’ Activity in the Ohio Utica: Completing 5 Wells

It’s been a while–quite a while–since we’ve heard anything about Hess’ Utica drilling program. The last article we ran on Hess drilling in the Utica was in April 2016 when Hess management said that while they have “good rock” in the Utica, they would mothball their Utica operations until more pipelines are built. Looks like the pipelines are built. We spotted a story that gives new information about Hess’ plans in the Utica. They currently have 59 wells producing in the Ohio Utica. They’re working to complete another 5 previously drilled (in 2015?) wells, which will give them 64 producing wells “in the next month or so.” As for new drilling, the company will hopefully restart their program to drill new wells “hopefully in mid-2019.” Here’s what Hess’ “Utica operations area lead” guy had to say at a Kiwanis Club meeting last week in Steubenville about how much, and where, they’re drilling in the Utica…
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PA’s Deep Well Services Helped Drill World’s Longest Shale Well

In June MDN brought you the news that Eclipse Resources had drilled yet another world record-breaking shale well in the Ohio Utica (see Eclipse Breaks Record Again – New Longest Shale Well in World!). Eclipse drilled the Outlaw C 11H in Guernsey County, a Utica well that is an incredible 19,588 feet long horizontally (total measured depth of 27,739 feet). That’s 3.7 miles long–all nearly two miles deep underground. It is an engineering marvel. And it’s not the first record-breaking well they’ve drilled. Eclipse holds the previous two records for world’s longest horizontal wells, drilling the Purple Hayes, 18,500 feet long (see Eclipse Res. 1Q16: Drills Longest Shale Well Ever! “Purple Hayes”), and then the Great Scott 3H well, 19,300 feet long (see Great Scott! Eclipse Drills New Longest Lateral in World – in Utica). All three of Eclipse’s “longest ever” shale wells are located in Guernsey County. Eclipse didn’t drill those wells all by itself. The company had help. One of the key partners assisting in all three world record-breaking projects is Deep Well Services, a Pennsylvania-based “snubbing” company. We’ve written about DWS before (see our stories here). DWS has just issued a press release to talk about their “significant role” in Eclipse’s record-breaking Outlaw well…
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Ohio Approves 2 Utica-Fired Power Plants in Guernsey, Trumbull Counties

Last week the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) approved two new Utica-gas powered electric plants, and authorized the expansion of a third plant to a bigger size. The OPSB approved the Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for (surprise!) Guernsey County, OH (see New Utica-Powered Electric Plant Proposed for Guernsey County, OH). OPSB also approved the Trumbull Energy Center project, a new plant proposed by Clean Energy Future for (surprise!) Trumbull County (see Details on Newly Announced Trumbull Energy Center Electric Plant). That second one may or may not sound familiar. Clean Energy is already building an electric generating plant in Trumbull County–in Lordstown, called the Lordstown Energy Center (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). Clean Energy proposed building a second plant right next to the first one (see Details on Newly Announced Trumbull Energy Center Electric Plant). We suppose Clean Energy could have called the second plant Lordstown Energy Center II, but instead they elected to call it Trumbull Energy Center. Two plants, side by side, built by the same company–now approved by OPSB. The OPSB also approved a request by Clean Energy to expand the already-under-construction Lordstown plant, from 800 megawatts to 940 megawatts. Here’s the lowdown on what got approved, and where it’s all located…
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Carrizo Sells 26K Prime Utica Acres for $62M

This morning Carrizo Oil & Gas announced it has sold “substantially all” of its Utica Shale assets, located primarily in Guernsey County, OH, for a grand total of $62 million. The Carrizo website says the company owns 25,900 acres in the Utica. Do the math, and if they sold all 25,900 acres for $62 million it works out to a relatively low $2,394 per acre–essentially a fire sale compared with lease prices in that area which are double that amount. Once upon a time Carrizo had big plans for the Utica. They (wisely) sold off their northern Utica acreage and retained their southern acreage in 2012 (see Carrizo Exits Northern Utica Shale, Retains Southern Acreage). The company has drilled four Utica wells–all of them in Guernsey County, with three of the four producing gas and oil. But the oily Eagle Ford play caught the company’s eye and in 2015 Carrizo quit drilling in the northeast (see Carrizo Cuts Budget 35%, No Drilling Planned in Utica/Marcellus in 2015). Since that time, they have not drilled any new wells in the Marcellus/Utica. In May of this year, Carrizo put all of their Marcellus/Utica assets up for sale (see Carrizo O&G Puts Up ‘For Sale’ Sign on Marcellus/Utica Assets). So it should be no surprise they’ve found a buyer (unnamed) to pick up prime acreage in the Utica…
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New Marcellus/Utica Driller Snaps Up Assets in OH, PA

It’s not often these days we get to announce a new driller in the Marcellus/Utica. Today is one of those days. Actually, this company has been around since early 2015, but we’re only now becoming aware of them. Pin Oak Energy Partners, headquartered in Akron, OH, is an exploration and production company engaged in both conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas wells and the operation of associated assets (like pipelines). Pin Oak currently operates 363 wells producing nearly 5.7 MMcfe/d (32% liquids) across more than 32,000 acres in the Marcellus/Utica region. The company is also involved in midstream, field services and operations through its affiliate companies. Pin Oak is on an aggressive acquisition binge of shale AND midstream assets, as well as leasing new acreage. Who is Pin Oak? According to CEO Chris Halvorson, Pin Oak is comprised of folks who were formerly with AB Resources. You may recall that AB Resources built a position in the southwestern “core” of the Marcellus and sold out to Chevron several years ago. Pin Oak is “what’s next” for for the former AB folks. Their target: the Appalachian basin. In July, Pin Oak bought 9,300 acres of leases and 8 Utica wells from EQT in Guernsey, Muskingum, and Columbiana counties (Ohio). Earlier this week Pin Oak announced they’ve purchased another 7,700 acres of leases and 10 Utica wells from an undisclosed seller in Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Mahoning counties (in Ohio) and Mercer, Crawford and Venango counties (in Pennsylvania). Below are two recent announcements. Pin Oak can be summed up in one word: aggressive. Keep a close eye on this company in the coming months and years…
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Eclipse Breaks Record Again – New Longest Shale Well in World!

Eclipse can’t help it–they keep setting new world records for the longest lateral (horizontal) wells drilled–in the entire world! It began last year when Eclipse drilled what they call their first “super lateral” Utica well in Guernsey County, OH–the Purple Hayes, at 18,500 feet long (see Eclipse Res. 1Q16: Drills Longest Shale Well Ever! “Purple Hayes”). Since that time, the Purple Hayes well has consistently been the #1 oil producing well in the state. Earlier this year Eclipse drilled a new longest-ever well, also in Guernsey County, the Great Scott 3H well at 19,300 feet long (see Great Scott! Eclipse Drills New Longest Lateral in World – in Utica). And now, Eclipse has drilled yet another record-breaker in Guernsey County. Last Friday the company reported it has drilled the Outlaw C 11H, a Utica well that is an incredible 19,500 feet long horizontally (total measured depth of 27,750 feet). That’s 3.7 miles long! Here’s the big news with more of the details for this newest record-breaker…
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Artex Energy Selling 14,885 Utica Acres in Eastern Ohio

Artex Energy Group, a subsidiary (on paper) of Marietta, OH-based Artex Oil Company, is selling 14,885 Utica Shale acres located in Noble, Guernsey, Washington and Tuscarawas Counties (southeastern OH). On its website, Artex claims it is “one of the largest oil and gas producers in Ohio” pumping out “millions of dollars per year in royalties to landowners.” The company says it has drilled and operates “more than 600 operated wells in Ohio.” Some of those wells are Utica Shale wells. However, many of their wells are conventional (vertical only) non-shale wells. The auction notice says 87% of the leases being offered are held by production. Over 2,000 acres is part of a joint venture Artex has with Antero Resources on land in Noble and Washington Counties. Artex is accepting bids now and will accept bids through March 2nd, with a target closing date of March 31st. Here are the particulars of what is being offered for sale…
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Rex Energy Sells 4,100 Acres, 14 Utica Wells in OH to Antero Resources

Rex Energy announced yesterday the company has cut a deal with Antero Resources to sell all of Rex’s “Warrior South Area” assets to Antero. Which may should like a big deal, but really isn’t. The assets sold include 4,100 net acres in perhaps the hottest part of the Ohio Utica Shale: Guernsey, Noble and Belmont counties. It also includes 14 Utica Shale wells. However, the wells are only producing 9 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) collectively. The sale price is $30 million–or $7,317 per acre. Rex says the acreage and wells are in a “non-core” area for the company. Rex, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA), has had its share of financial challenges. In December the company was warned by the New York Stock Exchange that the per share price is too low and the stock is in danger of being delisted (see Rex Energy Stock Threatened with De-Listing by Nasdaq). This sale is the latest in a string of sales meant to improve the company’s financial health…
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Planned OH Utica-Powered Electric Plant Goes from 1,100 to 1,650 MW

In April 2016 MDN told you about the Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for Guernsey County, OH (see New Utica-Powered Electric Plant Proposed for Guernsey County, OH). Apex Power Group at that time said they want to build a large 1,100 megawatt plant in Valley Township–producing enough electricity to power 1 million homes. The plant will generate 500 jobs during construction, and 25 full-time jobs to operate the plant when it’s completed. Apex says construction is targeted to begin in 2018 and will go online in 2020. The good news is that Apex and joint venture partner Caithness Energy have now filed a pre-application for the project–and the application shows they no longer want to build an 1,100 megawatt plant, they now want to build a whopping 1,650 megawatt plant! That’s the biggest natgas-fired electric plant we’ve heard of so far–anywhere. The previous title-holder was Dominion’s 1,600 megawatt plant currently under construction in Greensville County, VA (see Dominion Begins Building Virginia’s Biggest NatGas Power Station). Here’s more about the Guernsey Power Station…
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