9 Years Later Fracking Set to Begin in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest

Wayne National Forest (WNF) is the only national forest in Ohio and portions of it are found in Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Lawrence, Perry, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington counties. WNF is a “patchwork” of public land scattered among private land. Some 60% of the mineral rights below WNF are privately owned. Back in 2012 MDN told you that the U.S Forest Service, after holding up drilling in WNF since 2006, had cleared the way to allow fracking to begin (see Fracking Coming to Wayne National Forest in SE OH). Then any potential fracking came to a screeching halt because it was delayed by yet another federal agency–the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Since 2012 the BLM has moved like a snail, but finally (finally!) the BLM has scheduled public scoping hearings for Nov. 17, 18 and 19. Things are moving once again. Once the hearings are done, there will no reason not to move forward with plans to drill (and frack!) in the WNF…
Continue reading

GreenHunter Sues 2 Former VPs + OH Competitor for Conspiracy

lawsuit8/4/17: There is an important update to this story. The lawsuit brought by GreenHunter was dismissed in June 2017. Please see this post for more details: GreenHunter Lawsuit Against Former Employees Dismissed.

A lawsuit filed by GreenHunter Resources against two former vice presidents of the company is just coming to light. On October 15 GreenHunter filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Ohio against John Jack, former vice president of Appalachia operations for GreenHunter, and against Rick Zickefoose, former vice president and operations manager at GreenHunter. The lawsuit also names Dean Grose, CEO of Comtech Industries and a principle with Water Energy Services–both competitors of GreenHunter. The lawsuit alleges that Jack and Zickefoose shared company secrets with a competitor and then left to work for that competitor, damaging GreenHunter in the process. Some of those secrets–a key part of it–dealt with GreenHunter’s talks with the U.S. Coast Guard over barging brine down the Ohio River…
Continue reading

Marcellus Driller EdgeMarc Gets $300M from Ontario Teachers

money bagEdgeMarc Energy is a small driller headquartered in the Pittsburgh area, formed in 2012. The company has leased 50,000 acres in the Marcellus and Utica Shales. On Monday EdgeMarc issued a press release to announce they’ve attracted a new investor–the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan–which has promised the company up to $300 million in cash in return for part ownership (called an “equity commitment”). The announcement also says EdgeMarc currently drills and produces natural gas in Monroe and Washington counties in Ohio, and Butler County in Pennsylvania. In checking the latest issue of our 2015 Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook series, Volume 2, we find that EM Energy (which we assume is EdgeMarc) received permits to drill or continue work on 11 different wells in Butler County from May through August 2015 (see our Databook chart below). Including an existing equity commitment from Goldman Sachs, EdgeMarc, a private company, has now sold off $750 million worth of the company to outside investors…
Continue reading

More Utica Drilling on the Way in Washington County, OH?

We’re always on the lookout for signals–little things that we notice that may indicate where drilling will increase or decrease. We think we’ve found another one. EdgeMarc Energy is a small driller headquartered in the Pittsburgh area, formed in 2012. The company, according to their website, now has 50,000 acres leased in the Marcellus and Utica Shales. In checking our Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook series, we’ve not found a single permit issued to EdgeMarc, ever, but we have found a reference on MDN to a joint venture with Magnum Hunter Resources (see Magnum Hunter JV Deal with EdgeMarc to Drill 1,080 Acres in OH). EdgeMarc’s jv with MHR is interesting because the 1,080 acres targeted for jv drilling are in Washington County, Ohio, a county that has seen some, but not a lot, of Utica Shale drilling in the past (an average of 1 permit a month). Here’s the signal we’ve found that perhaps EdgeMarc, or jv partner Magnum Hunter, is about to ramp up more drilling in Washington County, Ohio…
Continue reading

EnLink OH Condensate Pipe in Trouble? Open Season Extended Again

EnLink Midstream is clearly having trouble getting enough business to justify building a new condensate pipeline in Ohio. In August 2014, EnLink announced a new 45-mile condensate pipeline that will stretch across Guernsey, Noble and Washington counties in Ohio (see EnLink Midstream Announces New Condensate Pipeline in ORV). The project, which connects to another EnLink pipeline in Washington County, is called the Ohio River Valley Pipeline, or ORV. In mid-December, EnLink launched a 30-day binding open season for shippers to sign up for capacity on the new pipeline (see EnLink Launches 1 Month Open Season for ORV Condensate Pipeline). An open season is the time when shippers sign on the dotted line and commit to paying for and using the pipeline when it’s built. If EnLink doesn’t get enough customers, they won’t build it. In January EnLink announced there were extending the open season another six weeks (see EnLink Extends Open Season for OH Condensate Pipeline by 6 Weeks). Those six weeks have come and gone, and guess what? EnLink has just announced they’re extending the open season again, another six weeks…
Continue reading

OH Village Gets $307K Signing Bonus, 18.25% Royaly to Lease 72 Acres

Last night, the village of New Matamoras, in Washington County, OH, was handed a check for $307,687.25. The general fund budget for all of 2014 was $121,368! The check came from MNW Energy, which is acting as the land broker for Triad Hunter (a division of Magnum Hunter Resources). The money is the up-front lease signing bonus for 72 acres of village owned-land that Triad plans to drill under. The payment amounts to a signing bonus of $4,275 per acre. When and if Triad drills, the village will get an 18.25% royalty on all gas/liquids produced. The biggest “problem” Matamoras had was how to cash the check! The next “problem” they have is how they’ll spend it. Here’s the low-down…
Continue reading

EnLink Extends Open Season for OH Condensate Pipeline by 6 Weeks

In August 2014, EnLink Midstream announced a new 45-mile condensate pipeline that will stretch across Guernsey, Noble and Washington counties in Ohio (see EnLink Midstream Announces New Condensate Pipeline in ORV). EnLink calls the project, which connects to another EnLink pipeline in Washington County, the Ohio River Valley Pipeline. In mid-December EnLink launched a 30-day binding open season for shippers to sign up for capacity on the new pipeline (see EnLink Launches 1 Month Open Season for ORV Condensate Pipeline). Midstream companies won’t build expensive pipelines (this one will cost $250 million) unless they have 15-20 contracts in place to guarantee they’ll make their money back. Today EnLink announced they’re extending the open season another six weeks–to the end of February. Oh oh, must mean they don’t yet have enough interested customers to build it…
Continue reading

WV/OH Officials Going on Field Trip to Prepare for Cracker Plant

The Odebrecht ethane cracker plant planned for the Parkersburg, WV area continues to walk/smell/act/behave like it’s the real deal. The latest evidence: Odebrecht has told area officials around Parkersburg, you need to be prepared for when the 100% official announcement comes, cause at that point, things will happen fast. So area officials are boning up now to be prepared for an influx of people and jobs–both a good thing, and a challenge. Area officials from Wood County, WV and neighboring Washington County, OH will head to the bitter-cold north country–Minot, North Dakota–in January (!) to see how that community has dealt with a rapidly expanding population and influx of new jobs due to the Bakken Shale…
Continue reading

Marietta’s City-Owned Land for Lease Tied Up (Again) by City Council

For (quite) a while now the city of Marietta, OH has tried to get leases of city-owned property for drilling under (not on) to extract Utica Shale gas. The first time around they tried, they delayed and it cost them (see Delay in Leasing City-Owned Land Costs Marietta, OH Big $). They decided to try again, with five different parcels (see Marietta Tries 2nd Time to Lease City Land for Utica Drilling). MNW Energy, a leasing company for Protege Energy, originally offered to lease Gunlock Park and Goose Run Road (two of the five parcels) for $4,750 per acre signing bonus and 17.5% royalties. Looks like that deal is back on the table and the city is reviewing it–hopefully in a more timely manner this time around. The problem is, it appears city council is once again frittering around…
Continue reading

EnLink Midstream Announces New Condensate Pipeline in ORV

Earlier this year, midstream company Crosstex Energy merged with the midstream division of shale driller Devon Energy and gave birth to a new company–EnLink Midstream (see Time to Congratulate Devon & Crosstex on the Birth of EnLink). EnLink has a small but growing presence in the northeast, including the Utica Shale. EnLink’s commitment to the Ohio River Valley (Utica Shale) has just doubled by adding another $250 million committed to a project that will build a new 45-mile condensate pipeline and add compressor stations in Noble, Belmont, and Guernsey counties…
Continue reading

Marietta Tries 2nd Time to Lease City Land for Utica Drilling

The City of Marietta, OH has several parcels of land they’re interested in leasing for Utica gas drilling: (1) Gunlock Park, behind the Walmart complex off Pike Streeet, (2) city-owned land along Goose Run Road in Marietta Township, (3) city garage property off Alderman Street, and (4) Buckeye Park off Acme and Greene Streets, and (5) the Kroger swap (i.e. “wetlands”) off Acme Street. All five locations total 95 acres. MDN reported that because city council snoozed, they lost out on an earlier opportunity to lease the Gunlock Park and Goose Run properties (35 acres) back in May (see Delay in Leasing City-Owned Land Costs Marietta, OH Big $). The city will run a second advertisement (legal requirement) to lease all parcels, and once again, they may have some interest. If they don’t botch it this time…
Continue reading

New Condensate Processing Coming to Utica/Marcellus from Ergon

coming soonNew condensate processing is on the way later this year from Ergon, Inc.–a company headquartered in Mississippi but with refineries and processing facilities in Ohio and West Virginia (and operations that include western Pennsylvania, Kentucky and New York). Ergon announced yesterday the company has spent over $75 million in the past two years to upgrade facilities, and continues to spend. Coming later this year is a 10,000 barrel per day condensate stabilization facility in Marietta, OH. Coming next year, the same kind of facility (also 10,000 bbl/d) in Newell, WV…
Continue reading

Seismic Testing Coming in July to Washington County, OH Town

Seismic testing is coming to Fearing Township (Washington County), OH starting in July. Seismic testing usually precedes drilling–so that means drilling is most likely on the way. The testing will allow drillers to “see” the best locations to place wells. So how will Protege Energy III, the company that’s hiring the testing done, go about doing the testing? No big thumper trucks along roadways for Protege. Instead, they favor drilling small holes and putting small explosive charges in the holes and recording the sound waves that bounce from the explosive charges. Protege held a community meeting earlier this month in Fearing to discuss the process and answer questions…
Continue reading

Magnum Hunter JV Deal with EdgeMarc to Drill 1,080 Acres in OH

This morning Magnum Hunter Resources announced a new, small joint venture with EdgeMarc (EM Energy Ohio) to drill on and under 1,080 acres of Marcellus/Utica property in Washington County, OH. This is the third such smallish jv between Magnum Hunter and other companies to drill in either the Marcellus or Utica Shale…
Continue reading

OH Newspaper’s Sloppy Reporting on Drilling Workers/Problems

Local newspapers in drilling towns should know better, but sometimes reporters are either snookered, or they have an anti-drilling bent. We’re not sure which it is for The Marietta Times (Washington County, OH), but a recent article uses a so-called research report from the anti-drilling FracTracker that says when drilling comes to town so too does an increase in crime. And on that particular false premise the reporter hangs an entire article full of anecdotes and innuendo. Shame on The Marietta Times
Continue reading