Gulfport 3Q18 Operations Update: 11 New Utica Wells

Gulfport Energy, an independent oil and gas driller with significant acreage positions in the Utica Shale of eastern Ohio and the SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer plays in Oklahoma, issued its third quarter operational (not financial) update yesterday. Gulfport is one of those companies that delivers its operational news first, and a few weeks later issues its financial news. Gulfport reports production continued to climb to new highs, averaging 1,427.5 million cubic feet equivalent (MMcfe) per day, a 7% increase over 2Q18 and 19% increase over 3Q17. Said another way, 1.43 Bcf/d.
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Who’s the Biggest NatGas Producer in the Ohio Utica?

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) and St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored an update on the Utica Shale and its impacts in southeastern Ohio at a one-day event held yesterday at Belmont College. The upshot of the day seemed to be this: The Utica is still creating thousands of jobs, and still attracting millions of dollars in investment. Among the speakers were reps from both EQT and Ascent, who had some interesting comments about their respective operations. Question: Who do you think is the largest natural gas producer in Ohio today? One of the speakers made the surprise claim that her company is now the top producer in Ohio.
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Yes! NEXUS Pipeline OK’d by FERC to Begin Service

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NEXUS, a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada, was the first major pipeline project to gain Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval shortly after a quorum of voting members was reestablished in summer 2017 (see New FERC Quorum Votes Final Approval for NEXUS Pipeline). It didn’t take long for NEXUS partners DTE Energy and Enbridge to get it built. The pipeline has essentially been done since mid-September (about a year to construct), when they asked for permission to start up (see NEXUS Pipeline Asks FERC for Sept 28 Startup to Flow 967 MMcf/d). Yesterday FERC granted that permission.
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Tetco TEAL Pipe Partial Start Up, Feeding NEXUS Pipe

On Tuesday, Enbridge, owner of the Texas Eastern Transmission Company (Tetco) Pipeline, announced it has put part of its Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease (TEAL) natural gas pipeline project in Ohio into service. TEAL boosts capacity along Tetco by 950 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), to flow Marcellus/Utica gas to the recently-completed-but-not-yet-online NEXUS pipeline (see FERC Authorizes Tetco TEAL Phase II – Connecting to NEXUS Pipe).
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List of 29 Marcellus/Utica Gas-Fired Elec Plants Planned or Built

Each large (over 475 megawatts) gas-fired electric power plant is an economic bonanza. The plants cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build–over a billion dollars for the largest plants. They provide hundreds of jobs during construction, jobs that last several years. They provide millions in tax revenue to local municipalities and schools. And best of all, each one of these plants uses an enormous amount of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas. There are 29 of these incredible projects already built or in various stages of planning and construction in PA, OH and WV. We have the list below.
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Get an “Unfair” Advantage for 2019 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards

Each year MDN partners with the Oil & Gas Awards to promote their Northeast Awards–a way for companies in the oil and gas industry that operate with distinction to get recognized by their peers. In March 2019 the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards will celebrate their 7th year! We hope that you and your colleagues will be able to share *your* successes and participate in the greatest celebration of our industry at the Oil & Gas Awards in Pittsburgh in March 2019. The deadline to enter is Dec. 12. MDN has what we consider a way you and your company can gain an “unfair” advantage–stacking the deck in favor of your company winning.
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OH Supreme Court Rules Independent Landmen Need Real Estate License

Sometimes the law, and justice, is mysterious to us. Last November we told you about an Ohio Supreme Court case with profound implications for both landmen and for the drillers who employ and use them (see OH Supreme Crt Considers Whether Landmen Need Real Estate License). The case, Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corp., was appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court by Dundics who was not happy with the outcome in lower courts that ruled landmen must have a real estate license in order to get paid for their valuable services. Even more to the point, if you don’t have a real estate licence, the company hiring you (like Eric Petroleum) can decide to not pay you–and it’s OK! The Supremes ruled at the end of August to uphold that principle. That is, if a landman is compensated via a commission and/or royalties for the deals he or she brokers, that person needs to have a real estate license. And if they don’t have such a license, they are considered (under the law) to be committing fraud. (It is our understanding that if the landman is paid a “day rate,” that is, paid a flat rate by the day, or if the landman is an employee of the drilling company, someone whose compensation is not directly tied to the number and value of deals, that landman does not need a real estate license. Please verify that!) The Ohio Supremes decided, in essence, that when you accept a commission or are paid a percentage of each deal, you must have a real estate license. In the case of Dundics v. Eric Petroleum, Mr. Dundics was repeatedly assured (according to the court documents we read) by Eric Petroleum that he (Dundics) would be compensated according to an agreed-on formula. But Dundics didn’t have a real estate license, so Eric Petroleum abrogated the agreement–with the court’s blessing…
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Mystery Seller of Ohio Utica Acreage to Ascent Finally Identified

At the end of June, 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 (see Ascent Resources Spends $1.5 Billion to Buy OH Utica Acreage, Wells). 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 selling their Utica assets 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. Now that all of the deals have closed, the mystery seller has been revealed…
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NEXUS Pipeline Asks FERC for Sept 28 Startup to Flow 967 MMcf/d

At the end of July NEXUS Pipeline was 80% complete and made big boasts that it would be ready to flow during the third quarter of this year (see NEXUS Pipeline Update – Now 80% Complete, on Schedule for 3Q18). By golly, they are true to their word. Earlier this week NEXUS told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) they are ready to go, and asked permission to begin service by September 28, flowing 967 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) along the pipeline that will eventually carry 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). The NEXUS Pipeline project is owned by DTE Energy and Spectra Energy (Enbridge). It is a $2 billion, 258-mile interstate pipeline that runs from Columbiana County in eastern Ohio across Ohio to an interconnection with DTE Gas in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Eventually, via the Vector Pipeline, gas from NEXUS will flow to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. Radical environmental groups fought the project tooth and nail. CORN (Coalition to ReRoute Nexus), and the far-left Sierra Club, launched multiple lawsuits and regulatory actions against the pipeline. We’re happy to report they lost. And now NEXUS is ready to flow…
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Ohio Utica Attracts Amazing $70 Billion Investment…So Far

JobsOhio, a private, nonprofit corporation that works closely with the state (works on behalf of the state) to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio by attracting business, has decided it’s time to once again wave the flag, blow the trumpet, and talk about the shale industry in the Buckeye State. And well they should! According to research quoted by JobsOhio, Ohio, largely due to the Utica Shale, has attracted an amazing $70 billion in new private sector energy investments from 2011 to 2017. This is truly stupendous stuff! That’s PRIVATE (non-tax, non-government) money flowing into Ohio mainly because of the Utica Shale. Not only that, but roughly 12,000 high-paying jobs have been created in Ohio thanks to the Utica. Those are “direct” jobs. When you include indirect jobs–such as welders, fabricators and logistical workers–the number goes to 100,000! God bless the Utica. Here’s another fact: Even though Ohio neighbor Pennsylvania produces far more natural gas than Ohio, Ohio’s production (as a percentage) has grown faster than PA, faster than any other state, for four years in a row…
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EdgeMarc Energy Sued for Failing to Pay Overtime – Class Action

Last Wednesday a single person employed by EdgeMarc Energy in Ohio filed a lawsuit against the company in federal court claiming he was “misclassified” as an independent contractor when in reality he was functioning as a full-blown employee. Why does it make a difference? Because independent contractors (1099s) are paid a straight, per-hour rate no matter how many hours they work, whereas employees must, under federal (and state) law, be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40. The worker alleges the company intentionally uses independent contractor status to wiggle out of paying overtime, and that he’s not the only one. Normally one disgruntled employee suing an employer is not newsworthy–but in this case the law firm is attempting to get the lawsuit certified as a class action, potentially covering hundreds of workers. And that IS a big deal…
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Ohio Democrats Float Bill to Cap Injection Wells at 23 per County

Liberal Democrat State Rep. Glenn Holmes (from Girard, Trumbull County, OH) is attempting to use a hammer to kill a fly. That is, he’s floating House Bill 723 to cap the number of injection wells at 23 per county, in an attempt to block a new injection well from getting built in Hubbard Township. Currently Trumbull County has 17 live and functioning wastewater injection wells. Five more are currently under construction. If the bill passes, it would prevent a newly-proposed well in Hubbard from getting built. Come here fly, see this hammer? Instead of debating the merits (or lack thereof) of the single well in Hubbard, how many wells are too many in Trumbull County, Holmes wants to limit injection wells everywhere in the state as his preferred solution. Right now Trumbull and Ashtabula counties are tied for the top spot with 17 active injection wells each. Nearby Portgage and Stark counties both have 16 injection wells. Meigs County, in southeast Ohio, has 14 active injection wells. Here’s the latest Democrat shenanigan aimed at stifling the Utica (and Marcellus) industry in Ohio…
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BLM Panders to Radicals, Cancels OH Wayne Natl Forest Auctions

Wayne National Forest

One step forward and two steps back. That’s the modus operandi of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the DC swamp dwellers who run it. After 10 long years, BLM finally began to auction a small amount of acreage in Wayne National Forest (WNF) in 2016 (see BLM Launches Auction to Lease Wayne National Forest for Fracking). WNF is a “patchwork” of public land scattered among private land. Some 60% of the mineral rights below WNF are privately owned. Those mineral rights owners have been denied the use of their property rights for over a decade. BLM controls drilling on federally-protected lands like WNF. BLM eventually conducted four (we think it’s four) auctions with under 2,000 acres total. And yet BLM still refuses to let drilling commence (see BLM Blocks Eclipse from Completing Utica Well in Wayne Natl Forest). On August 7 BLM announced another auction, for a piddly 75 acres. A radical Big Green group (far far out of the mainstream) called the Center for Biological Diversity protested the auction, and on August 28 BLM canceled the auction “while an appeal is under consideration.” That’s all it takes. Throw some Big Green money at eager radical lawyers, and everything stops. That’s all the excuse BLM needs. Who the heck in the Trump Administration is in charge of BLM? And why is this happening during Trump’s watch??…
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Top 25 Producing Gas & Oil Wells in Ohio Utica for 2Q18

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Somebody must have lit a fire under the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR). The ODNR issued first quarter 2018 production numbers for shale oil and gas production a little over a month ago, in July (see Top 25 Producing Gas & Oil Wells in Ohio Utica for 1Q18). Which does seem a bit late. Yesterday ODNR made up for it by issuing production numbers for 2Q18. Natural gas production was up an astounding 42% over the same period last year (after being up 43% in 1Q18). Utica natgas production broke record, hitting a new all-time high of 554.3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2Q18. Unlike 1Q18 when Utica oil production was down 3.6%, in 2Q18 Utica oil production was up, a big 11%! Ohio’s oil production has seesawed up and down over the past few years. Once again Ascent Resources, founded by the late Aubrey McClendon, dominated the top 25 highest-producing gas wells, with 18 of the top 25. Eclipse Resources grabbed a majority of the top 25 most-producing oil wells, with 12 of 25 wells on the list. The top 6 oil wells were all Eclipse wells, all located in Guernsey County. Below we have the ODNR’s high level overview of the numbers, along with MDN’s own exclusive analysis showing: the top 25 producing gas wells, the top 25 producing oil wells, and then the top 25 gas and oil wells as ranked by average production per day. There is a difference. We show you which wells are not just producing the most quantity overall, but which wells are producing at the fastest (most productive) rates–even if those wells haven’t yet been online a full three months. We also include a link to the complete list (Google spreadsheet) of 2,035 wells included in the 2Q18 ODNR report, in a more useful format than that provided by ODNR…
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Utica Shale’s Impact on Ohio Past 10 Years: $100 Billion!

Aubrey McClendon, co-founder of Chesapeake Energy and founder of American Energy Partners (renamed to Ascent Resources) was the first to recognize the importance of the Ohio Utica Shale and once famously said the Utica is “the biggest thing to hit Ohio since maybe the plow.” Turns out he was right, God rest his soul. The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a national group of families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers joined together to support America’s energy future, has just released a report that shows from 2006 to 2016, Ohioans saved more than $40 billion (!) on energy costs (natural gas and electricity) because of the Ohio Utica Shale. The report, titled “The Benefits of Ohio’s Natural Gas Production to Energy Consumers and Job Creators” (full copy below), breaks down the savings this way: Ohio residential customers saved close to $15 billion during the 10-year period, while commercial and industrial consumers saved more than $25 billion. But that’s not all. The report also quotes JobsOhio in saying that shale-related investment in the Buckeye State from 2011-2017 was a staggering $63.9 billion. If you add those two numbers together, the amount of money saved on energy (and therefore spent on other things), and the amount of money invested, it totals more than $100 billion of economic impact from shale in Ohio–in ten short years. Put another way, one-tenth of trillion dollars has been spent in Ohio because of shale. Mind-blowing…
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