Summit Midstream – Ohio Utica Shines in 2Q

Summit Midstream Partners, formed in 2009 and headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, operates natural gas, crude oil and produced water gathering (pipeline) systems in six unconventional resource basins, including the Marcellus and Utica. The company concentrates its time and money on four “core focus areas” including the Utica, the Williston (i.e. Bakken), the DJ Basin and the Permian. The Marcellus is part of the company’s “legacy” systems that doesn’t get as much love (and money). Last week the company issued its 2Q update. The company’s Utica operation was the star performer in 2Q, increasing flows through Summit’s system by 60%.
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Multiple Lawsuits Filed re FirstEnergy Nuke Bailout Bribery Scandal

FirstEnergy is in the middle of an excrement storm. The company’s former subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions (now called Energy Harbor) allegedly paid $60 million in bribes to Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and several of his associates to gain their assistance passing the hugely unpopular House Bill 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). HB 6, which became law, gives Energy Harbor $1.1 billion in ratepayer funds to prop up the company’s uneconomic nuclear power plants. Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against the FirstEnergy and Energy Harbor since the bribery scandal news broke…
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OH Gov. DeWine Reverses Course, Wants to Repeal $1B Nuke Bailout

We’re pretty certain Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (RINO) doesn’t read MDN, but we’re glad to see he took our advice from yesterday when we said he’s “stupid if he vetoes the bill to repeal House Bill (HB) 6. Does he not realize he will be given the political equivalent of an anal exam to see if his palms were greased by FirstEnergy too?! The only reason the bill passed was bribery. It’s poisoned. It must be overturned.” A day after DeWine expressed support for the bribe-ridden HB 6 that became law when he signed it last year, DeWine reversed course and now says he supports repeal of that terrible law.
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Effort to Repeal Ohio $1B Nuke Bailout Law Shifts into High Gear

“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). That phrase needs to be tattooed on the side of FirstEnergy’s headquarters because their sin of (allegedly) bribing Ohio lawmakers to pass a highly unpopular bailout of the company’s economically failing nuclear power plants has certainly found them out (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). Lawmakers in the Ohio legislature are now falling all over themselves in an effort to repeal House Bill (HB) 6, a law THEY PASSED just twelve months ago (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plant).
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Montage Sells Non-Core Utica Pipe Assets to Int’l Buyer for $25M

Montage Resources, the new name for the merger of Eclipse Resources with Blue Ridge Mountain Resources which happened more than a year ago, announced yesterday it is selling its “non-core” wellhead gathering infrastructure (pipelines) in the Ohio Utica condensate development area to an unnamed international buyer for $25 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.
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FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law

We told you that the law passed in Ohio (House Bill 6) granting FirstEnergy (now called Energy Harbor) $1 billion in corporate welfare from ratepayers, destroying the fair playing field for natgas-fired electric plants in the bargain, stunk to high heaven. We told you that the entire thing was corrupt (see OH Nuclear Bailout Corruption: Gas Sacrificed for Nuke Investors). We didn’t realize just how right we were! Yesterday the Republican Speaker of the Ohio House, Larry Householder (along with several associates) was arrested on racketeering charges for taking $60 million in bribes from FirstEnergy for promoting and pushing (against the will of the people, we might add), HB 6. FirstEnergy has been served with a subpoena related to the case, although they have not (yet) been indicted. This is the largest bribery scheme in Ohio’s history!
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Some OH Lawsuits Against Long-Finished NEXUS Pipe Still Active

NEXUS Pipeline, a $2.6 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that runs from Ohio into Michigan, has been fully online since October 2018 (see More of NEXUS Pipe Goes Online, FERC Approves Compressor). In typical fashion, Big Green groups and landowners (some of them backed with Big Green money) tried to shut the pipeline down via lawsuits, but ultimately could not (see our NEXUS lawsuit stories here). Some landowners claimed the pipeline damaged their property during construction. Most of those lawsuits were either tossed or settled. However, there are still a few outstanding landowner lawsuits against NEXUS still active.
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What is “Due Diligence” in Severed Mineral Rights Cases in Ohio?

How much of an effort is “enough” when a surface landowner in Ohio tries to locate the owner(s) of the belowground mineral rights under his or her land using the Dormant Mineral Act (DMA)? Is it enough to search the public record archive in the county where the land is located? The Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled in a case to say no, it’s not enough to run a quick search in one county when attempting to locate mineral rights owners.
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OH Landowners Sue Rice, Ascent, XTO, Gulfport for Drilling Too Deep

Do you remember the child’s game called “Simon Says”? That’s what we were thinking when we read about a lawsuit in Ohio by landowners against a group of shale drillers. The lawsuit, initiated by several landowners in Belmont County, OH, claims the drillers drilled too deep–into the Point Pleasant rock layer–when the leases signed only mention the Utica rock layer. The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, claims “unjust enrichment” by the drillers.
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Former EV Energy Partners Sells Appalachian Assets for $20.5M

In June 2018, EV Energy Partners (EVEP), the drilling subsidiary of EnerVest, emerged from bankruptcy court a mere two months after entering with $355 million of debt erased and sporting a new name: Harvest Oil & Gas Corp. (see EV Energy Partners Emerges from Bankruptcy with New Name). Harvest’s drilling and assets are focused in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia where they own/operate 9,787 conventional wells on 916,832 gross leased acres. The company announced yesterday it’s selling off its Appalachian assets for $20.5 million (and no, that’s not a typo).
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New Study Shows No Leaks in Utica Shale Gathering Pipelines

It’s such a breath of fresh air (and so rare) when we spot actual, in-the-field, real science being done. So many times the “studies” we see published are nothing more than rehashed interpretations, speculation, and outright fabrications parading as scientific inquiry. We spotted a new study published just yesterday in the journal MDPI Atmosphere by researchers with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh. In 2019 researchers flew specially outfitted drones with methane sniffers over 73 kilometers (45 miles) of Utica Shale gathering pipelines and associated infrastructure. Know what they found? There were ZERO methane leaks from the pipelines.
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Ohio Frac Sand Company Covia Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

In December 2017 Fairmount Santrol, an Ohio-based sand producer that sells frac sand to drillers in the Utica and Marcellus Shale, announced it would sell itself to another sand company–Unimin, a subsidiary of Belgium-based SCR-Sibelco–for $170 million and 35% ownership in the newly combined company (see OH Sand Producer Fairmount Santrol Merging w/Unimin in $170M Deal). The newly merged company was later renamed Covia. Earlier this week Covia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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Ohio Utica Oil and Gas Production Takes a Tumble in 1Q20

Each quarter the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) issues an update on Utica (and Marcellus) oil and natural gas production. Until the recent blowup of the ODNR website (still only partially restored) ODNR would issue a detailed list of all active wells with production by well. No more. That report is missing from the latest quarterly high-level update from ODNR covering first quarter 2020 numbers. What we can tell you, based on the information that has been released, is that production between 4Q19 and 1Q20 was down significantly.
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Leftwing Academic Hacks Trash Talk PA, OH Cracker Plants

A group of leftwing radical professors (all of the Democrats) from seven universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania have colluded to write a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The letter trash talks the billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs ethane cracker plants and the petrochemical industry will have in the region. The leftist gang of seven poo-poos those estimates and says the proposed PTT cracker is too “risky” to approve. How do they figure?
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Marcellus/Utica NatGas Production Drops 1.5 Bcf/d Jan to May

Enverus (formerly known as Drillinginfo) recently released its latest FundamentalEdge report that explores the ongoing supply response to demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the report, Enverus estimates how much dry gas production each major shale play produced, month by month, from January through May of this year. The numbers show that production from the Marcellus/Utica, which produces the most natural gas of any play, decreased the most of any play–by some 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) from January to May.
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EnerVest Auctioning 58K Utica Leased Acres in Ohio & Pennsylvania

EnergyNet is an online marketplace for buying and selling oil and gas working interests (operated and non-operated), overrides, royalties, mineral interests, leaseholds, and other contracts. From time to time we spot auctions on EnergyNet from Marcellus/Utica drillers. EnerVest Energy is currently auctioning a package of leases scattered across Ohio and Pennsylvania via the EnergyNet website. The EnerVest auction ends June 17. We have the details below.
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