Ohio Appeals Court Upholds Antero’s Right to Use Forced Pooling

The legal beagles at Vorys represented Antero Resources in a recently-decide case with far-reaching implications for Ohio drillers and landowners. The Vorys team won the case. As with most lawsuits, this one is complicated and gets in the weeds. The short short version is that under an original lease signed years ago, a landowner and drilling company (at that time) removed a section of the lease that allows the landowner’s property to be pooled (called “unitized” in Ohio) with other properties.
Continue reading

OOGEEP Hands Out Another 65 Oil & Gas Scholarships

The hits keep coming from OOGEEP, the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program. In May we brought you OOGEEP’s top notch new resource to help workers discover new careers in the oil and gas industry (see 75+ Gas and Oil Related Careers in the Marcellus/Utica). Now comes word that OOGEEP has just parceled out 65 scholarships ($1,000 minimum award) to students pursuing careers in the oil and gas industry.
Continue reading

Pres. Trump Targets Marcellus/Utica to Bulk Up PetChem Industry

President Trump is pushing members of his administration to work with state regulators in Appalachia–Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania–to “build the country’s first natural gas and petrochemical hub” outside of the Gulf Coast. According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, such a plan is in the the country’s national security interests. Members of the Trump team are also having discussions with leftists like NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to try and convince him to allow pipelines into and through the state. If states like NY won’t allow it, Perry holds out the hope/threat that the feds will invoke the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause to make them.
Continue reading

Ohio Utica O&G Production in 1Q19 a Mixed Bag – Top 25 Wells

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued first quarter 2019 numbers for Utica shale oil and gas production last Friday. Both natural gas and oil production increased over last year’s 1Q. Natgas production was up 14.5% over the same period last year, to 609.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf). However, 1Q19 production is down from Ohio’s all-time high of 663.5 Bcf in 4Q18. Oil production was 5.1 million barrels, up 29% over last year’s 1Q, but down from 4Q18’s 5.8 million barrels. So, 1Q19 numbers are up from last year’s 1Q, but down from the previous quarter (4Q18). A mixed bag.
Continue reading

NARO Warns WV & OH About PA Cross-Unit Drilling Bill

In March MDN brought readers a pair of posts about a new bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, HB 247, which would allow fully leased parcels that are part of one drilling “unit” to be combined with parcels in a different unit–“cross-unit drilling” if you will (see PA Floats Bill to Allow Shale Drilling to Span Multiple Units and Revisiting PA Bill to Allow Shale Drilling Across Multiple Units). The National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) at a recent meeting in WV warned landowners about HB 247 and its potential to come to both WV and OH if it passes in PA.
Continue reading

Video Games Prep Young People to Become M-U Operating Engineers

“Quit playing that @#$% video game!” How often have young people heard that refrain from a parent? Hey parents, you may want to lighten up a bit on the video game thang. The eye-hand coordination and quick thinking skills built by long hours of playing video games are helping youngsters who grow up and enter the work force get jobs operating seriously big pieces of construction equipment used in the Marcellus/Utica, like cranes and earthmovers.
Continue reading

Ohio’s Top 10 Shale Oil and Gas Producers

We’re always a sucker for a “Top 10” list. We spotted a Top 10 list for Ohio oil and gas producers recently published by Columbus Business First. The list ranks companies by production in 2018 converted to thousand cubic feet equivalent. We’ve also included a nifty graphic from our own Marcellus & Utica Shale Almanac 2018 for Ohio, showing cumulative production for all active shale drillers from 2011-2017. Our list has the same names, but in a different order.
Continue reading

Antis Continue to Use NEXUS Case in Effort to Emasculate FERC

Last December MDN told you that even though NEXUS Pipeline, a $2.6 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that runs from Ohio into Michigan is built and has been fully online since November, the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CORN), along with the City of Oberlin, Ohio, filed yet another lawsuit (with the D.C. Court of Appeals) to nullify the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) original decision to approve the project (see CORNballs Return, Ask DC Court to Shut Down NEXUS Pipe).
Continue reading

New Study: PA NatGas Carbon Emissions HALF that of Coal Mining

A new study just published in the peer reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters by an international team of researchers finds that natural gas “has half the carbon footprint of underground coal mining.” The researchers looked at (did measurements of, actual real science) methane in the atmosphere by flying transects over the southwestern portion of Pennsylvania and adjacent portions of West Virginia and Ohio. Marcellus/Utica central. One of the researchers from Penn State said this about the findings: “Obviously, renewable energy would be better, but there is no debate, switching to natural gas is worth it in the short run.”
Continue reading

MarkWest Hopedale Plant Problem Knocks 2 Bcf/d Offline in OH, WV

A pipeline feeding the MarkWest Hopedale Fractionation Facility in Jewett, Ohio was knocked offline last Sunday, and that outage caused a cascading effect throughout the region that forced three gas processing plants in West Virginia to temporarily scale back (or stop) operations, which further caused a ~2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) decrease in gas flows on two interstate gas transmission pipelines. The good news is that the problem is now resolved.
Continue reading

Buckeye XPress Pipe Project in OH, WV Gets Favorable FERC Review

Buckeye XPress project map (click for larger version)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seems to have its own version of time. On February 28 this year, FERC promised to issue an environmental assessment (EA) for the Buckeye XPress (BXP) pipeline project no later than April 8 (see OH/WV Buckeye XPress Pipe Project Moves to Front of FERC Queue). Errr, right. FERC finally issued their EA (which was favorable, by the way), yesterday, on May 20. So in FERC-speak, April 8 actually means May 20. Got it?
Continue reading

75+ Gas and Oil Related Careers in the Marcellus/Utica

A few weeks ago the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) published a new resource for those interested in checking out the many (many!) job opportunities there are working in the oil and gas industry. Not a list of open positions at specific companies, but a list of jobs and careers. Everything from administrative assistant and attorney to welder and workover rig supervisor. But this isn’t just a laundry list of 75+ careers/jobs, it includes a detailed explanation of what each job does, the amount and type of education required, and a list of places (in Ohio, of course) where you can receive training for that type of job. This is an awesome resource!
Continue reading

NatGas Replacing Coal for Power Gen in Ohio; Renewables Tiny 3%

Here’s an interesting and fun fact: In just 12 years electricity generated by coal plants has gone from powering 87% of Ohio’s homes and businesses to just 47%. So-called renewables (solar and wind) make up a whopping 3% of Ohio’s electric generation. So what’s replacing coal? Natural gas, which now generates 34% of the state’s electricity. Gas still hasn’t beaten coal, but give it a few more years and it will.
Continue reading

PA, OH Bills Would Prop Up Failing/Expensive Nuclear Power Plants

New York State is already doing it, Pennsylvania is actively considering doing it, and now, Ohio has caught the contagion too. The “it” we’re talking about is soaking electric rate payers to pump more money into the coffers of big corporations so they can keep uneconomic and financially failing nuclear electric generating plants operating. Both PA and OH lawmakers have floated plans to soak rate payers in their respective states.
Continue reading

Ohio Court Rules Marketable Title Act Applies re Mineral Rights

There is an ongoing question of whether or not the Ohio Marketable Titles Act (MTA), which impacts Utica shale rights, can be used to return previously severed mineral rights back to a surface landowner, or whether the MTA is superseded by Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (DMA). In February, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals said the MTA *does* still apply to mineral rights (see OH Court Says Marketable Title Act Applies to O&G Rights). The Seventh Circuit recently ruled in a second case reaffirming yet again that yes, MTA applies to mineral rights.
Continue reading

ODNR Says to Expect ~350 New Utica Wells Per Year Next Few Years

We spotted some interesting comments made by Rick Simmers, chief of Ohio’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources (part of Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, or ODNR), at the recent Utica Midstream conference in North Canton. Rick recounted the rapid, recent history of Utica drilling in the state, coming from nothing less than a decade ago to now having over 2,500 Utica wells drilled and producing. He also pulled out the crystal ball for a prediction of how many new Utica wells will get drilled both this year and next.
Continue reading