EdgeMarc Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Revolution Pipe

EdgeMarc Energy, headquartered in Canonsburg, PA (with 45,000 acres of Marcellus/Utica leases), is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, looking to sell all of the company’s assets. The reason? They can’t move their production to market because their main pipeline partner, Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline, exploded last September and ET has not been able to get the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection to allow them to restart it.
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Montage Resources Drilling 33% of 2019 Wells in Ohio Marcellus!

The former Blue Ridge Mountain Resources (formerly Magnum Hunter Resources) and Eclipse Resources tied the knot and merged at the end of February, promptly renaming itself Montage Resources (see Blue Ridge Merges with Eclipse, Renamed to Montage Resources). The newly merged entity released its first quarter 2019 update last week. We found some fascinating details about Montage’s plans for 2019.
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Saudi Arabia Wants to Buy Piece of the Marcellus via Equinor

Saudi Arabia is sniffing around the Marcellus Shale. Bloomberg reports that super secret talks are happening between Saudi Aramco (largest oil company in the world, owned by the Saudi government) and Equinor, which until recently was called Statoil. Equinor is majority-owned by the government of Norway. The Saudis are considering “buying a stake” in or possibly a joint venture with Equinor. It seems Norway is hesitant to hop into bed with the Saudis. We don’t blame them.
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CNX 1Q19 & Beyond: Go Big (in the Utica) AND Go Home

CNX Resources released its first quarter 2019 update yesterday, which shows the company lost $87 million, as opposed to making $527 million in profit in 1Q18. Even so, CEO Nicholas DeIuliis announced the company is upping its drilling budget from the previously announced $700 million to instead spend $885 million, largely to drill more “deep dry” Utica wells. Go big or go home!
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M-U Transload Facility in OH Getting Gas-Fired Power Plant 2021

Aerial view of the Long Ridge Energy Terminal from the Ohio River

In January 2018 MDN brought you news from the new owners of what is now called the Long Ridge Energy Terminal in Monroe County, OH (transloading facility) that they were moving forward “quickly” with plans to build a 485-megawatt Utica gas-fired electric plant. The plan was to have it online and running in 2020. That’s now been pushed back to late 2021.
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BLM Auctions 75 Acres in OH’s Wayne Natl Forest for $209/Acre

Last week the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Eastern States Office ran another oil and gas lease auction for federal land on the eastern side of the country. Up for auction was 2,456 acres in Ohio, Michigan and Mississippi. Only half of the property listed for auction actually brought bids and sold. Of the 2,456 acres offered, a piddly 75 acres, in two parcels, was located in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest (WNF)–in Monroe County. That is, 3% of all the acreage in the BLM sale was in the Ohio Utica–and yet that 3% brought in 69% of the revenue from the sale: $15,720 total. However, the amount paid per acre for the WNF parcels seems to be small–just $209 per acre. So who picked up the 75 acres for a song?
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Fed Gov’t Gives $20M Grant to Monroe, OH Shale-to-Rail Project

Long Ridge Energy Terminal (click for larger version)

We suppose if the money we pay in taxes to the federal government is going to be used for corporate welfare, this is the kind of welfare we’d like to see. Mind you, we don’t endorse nor like corporate welfare of any kind (whether it’s money for so-called renewable projects, or money for fossil fuel projects). But corporate welfare is a fact in our screwed up world, so let’s put it to good use by throwing what amounts to a rounding error in our federal budget, $20 million, to the Long Ridge Energy Terminal in Monroe County, OH for “rail and pipeline infrastructure improvements” to move more shale gas, oil and NGLs to market. The Long Ridge Energy Terminal, which used to be called the Center Port Transload Facility, completed an upgrade in July that allows more “unit trains” to be loaded/unloaded at the same time (see Former Ormet Site in OH Handles 3 Frac Sand Unit Trains at a Time). The new grant money will add a pipeline-to-rail transloading facility to the terminal.
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3 Counties, 5 Drillers Led OH’s 50% Increase in 2Q Gas Production

The Pareto Principle is alive and well in the Buckeye State. You may know it as the 80/20 rule, or in this case, the 75/25 rule. The rule that states roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Last week MDN brought you the latest update from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources–their second quarter 2018 report showing all production coming from the Ohio Utica Shale (see Top 25 Producing Gas & Oil Wells in Ohio Utica for 2Q18). While MDN provided you with Top 25 lists showing the best-performing wells (both gas and oil) during 2Q, and while we provided you with a better spreadsheet to view the information than that provided by the ODNR itself, our analysis was basic and high level. Utica natgas production was up a big 42% over the same period last year, and Utica oil production was up 11%–a cumulative 50% increase when you convert it all into equivalents. The experts at S&P Global Platts have done a deep dive into the numbers and have found that three counties represent 75% of all production in 2Q18, and five drillers represent 75% of all production in 2Q18. Which counties and which drillers? Read on…
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Drilling Mud Co. Opens in Monroe County, OH, 40 New Jobs

American Mud Works held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week to officially open up a new regional headquarters in Monroe County, OH. The company specializes in mixing drilling mud–the stuff used to cool drill bits as they chew away at solid rock some 1-2 miles below the surface. They also recycle used drilling mud and wastewater/brine. The company’s main headquarters is in Texas. They’re locating a branch operation in Monroe to service the Utica and Marcellus industries in our region. In the short-term, the new office, due to be fully operational in about four weeks, will staff up by hiring 30-40 people. However, American Mud has bigger goals in view. They aim to add more service lines and expand their operations down the road. The number of employees will likely go much higher as they expand. Let’s welcome American Mud and another 40 jobs to Appalachia!…
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Former Ormet Site in OH Handles 3 Frac Sand Unit Trains at a Time

Long Ridge Energy Terminal

Back in 2014 MDN told you that the former Ormet aluminum plant in Hannibal (Monroe County), OH had been purchased out of bankruptcy by Niagara Worldwide and turned into the Center Port Transload Facility, with an emphasis on providing services for the Marcellus/Utica industry (see Center Port Transload Facility Already Up & Running in OH). In April 2017, we brought you news about plans to build a 485-megawatt Utica gas-fired electric plant at the Center Port location (see More on Gas-Fired Elec Plant Coming to Center Port Terminal). And in January we told you that most of the facility (not all) had changed hands again, selling to Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure for $30 million, changing the name to Long Ridge Energy Terminal (see Former Ormet Site in SE OH Changes Hands, Gas-Fired Plant Coming). We spotted a new announcement from Long Ridge (née Center Port) that says the facility has just completed a rail construction project that allows the terminal to accept and load/unload three different “unit trains” of frac sand–at the same time. A unit train is a train hauling all the same commodity, in this case frac sand. Typical unit trains are 70-100 cars long. With new loop tracks now in place, Long Ridge can handle way more frac sand than it previously could. And it’s a good thing, because demand for frac sand in the Utica/Marcellus is through the roof. Long Ridge is also a barge terminal, sitting on the Ohio River. In fact, Long Ridge is the only terminal in the M-U region with both unit train and barge transloading capabilities…
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Part of Leach XPress Pipe Up and Running Following Explosion

Leach XPress explosion location – click for larger version

Last Thursday MDN reported that TransCanada was working to restore partial service to the Leach XPress Pipeline (see TransCanada Working to Restore Partial Service on Leach XPress Pipe). Leach XPress only came online in January. The pipeline experienced an explosion and fire on June 7 (see Leach XPress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). Most of the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas flowing through the pipeline was stopped. As of Friday, the Stagecoach-LXP meter, which ties into the Strike Force South gathering system station, was once again flowing, up to 190 million cubic feet per day. Which means Monroe and Belmont counties (OH) are now reconnected and flowing. As for the rest of the pipeline and its various metering stations, it’s all still shut down with no word on when it will be repaired and back online. There’s still no word on what caused the explosion in the first place…
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TransCanada Working to Restore Partial Service on Leach XPress Pipe

We told you last week that Columbia Gas Transmission’s Leach XPress Pipeline, which only came online in January, experienced an explosion and fire in Marshall County, WV (see Leach XPress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). Most of the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas flowing through the pipeline is now stopped, which has caused shippers (drillers) to find alternatives, including Energy Transfer’s Rover, Tallgrass’ Rockies Express (REX), EQT’s Equitrans, and Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipelines to flow gas out of the region (see Other Pipelines Pick Up Slack for Exploded Leach XPress). Although a fix for the exploded portion of Leach XPress is likely months away, TransCanada, the owner of Columbia and the Leach pipeline, is working on a plan to quickly restore part of the pipeline to service in southeastern Ohio–which would reconnect Monroe and Belmont counties to the pipeline…
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XTO Selling 9,400 OH Utica Acres in Monroe & Washington Counties

XTO Energy, the shale drilling arm of Exxon Mobil, wants to sell ~9,400 Ohio Utica Shale acres in Monroe and Washington counties. Have no fear, XTO isn’t going anywhere. According to XTO’s website, the company currently owns 82,000 acres of Utica Shale leases in Belmont and Monroe counties. The tiny 9,400-acre sale appears to us to be selling off acreage in areas that don’t fit with XTO’s future drilling plans. XTO maintains a regional office in Belmont County. According to the sale announcement appearing on Oil & Gas Asset Clearinghouse, there are potentially 40 drilling locations on the 9,400 acres. The acreage has dry gas potential. The sale is not exactly an auction, but it is timed and uses bids. XTO is accepting sealed bids on the property through May 17. Here’s a copy of the listing, along with a flyer…
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Latest OH Wayne Natl Forest Auction a Bust – Leases Go for $3/Acre

The fifth auction by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of federally-owned acreage in Wayne National Forest (WNF) to allow shale drilling was, in a word, a bust. The first four auctions offered up a total of 2,396 acres in total, and sold for over $8 million (average of $3,354 signing bonus per acre). The fifth auction of two smaller parcels–39.6 acres in Monroe County, and 305.8 acres in Noble County–sold for a piddly $2 and $3 signing bonuses per acre, respectively. What in the world happened? MDN reader and friend Charles Winslow, owner of The Wells Inn in Sistersville, WV, writes the INNformer publication. Charles recently published an excellent article about the recent auction and its lackluster results in the INNformer. He offered MDN the opportunity to reprint it (below). Charles finds there are a number of factors for the low auction price–but primarily the blame can be laid at the foot of regulatory uncertainty…
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Top 3 Most-Drilled Counties in Ohio Utica for 2017

If you look at the number of Utica wells drilled in 2017, Belmont, Monroe and Jefferson counties were the top 3 counties in the state for new Utica wells drilled. However, if you dig a little further, you’ll find that two of those three counties saw more wells drilled in 2017 than in 2016, while one of them saw a 45% drop in new wells drilled in 2017–indicating that county has “fallen out of favor,” at least to some extent. Which is which? For that, you have click to continue reading…
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Final State Permits Expected Soon for OH Mountaineer NGL Storage

Some new details have emerged with respect to the Mountaineer NGL Storage facility proposed for Monroe County, OH, located just across the river (and border) from West Virginia. What did we know about the proposed project? The Colorado company behind the project plans to spend up to $500 million to build it; some 20 drillers have expressed interest in contracting with the facility to store ethane; and the nearby PTT Global cracker plant project (if it gets built) and the under-construction Shell cracker plant are both interested in connections to the facility. Last November, we learned there is a construction delay until mid-this year (see Yet Another Update on Stalled Mountaineer NGL Storage Proj in OH). Why the delay? Because of regulators in Ohio. At the “Emerging Opportunities Ohio Valley Conference” held yesterday in WV, Mountaineer NGL president David Hooker provided an update and some new-to-us details about the project. He said his company will file paperwork for “final state permits” in March. While “not a lot has changed” with Ohio regulators dragging their feet, here’s something that has changed. In order to pump out the NGLs from the underground storage cavern, brine (salty water) will be pumped down the bore hole, to force the NGLs back up to the surface. Original plans called for a single brine pond to store the liquid when it’s at the surface, waiting to be used. New plans call for two brine ponds. So far Mountaineer has spent $20 million on the project. If everything gets approved and demand develops as expected, the plan is to spend up to $130 million, which will build enough infrastructure to store 3 million barrels of NGLs. However, there is also a stretch goal of investing up to $500 million to store 10 million barrels. Here’s an update from our friends at Kallanish Energy, who attended yesterday’s event…
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