A lawyer representing 12 Ohio landowners has filed separate lawsuits on behalf of each landowner against NEXUS Pipeline and a contractor NEXUS used to build the pipleline–Michels Corp. The lawyer says he plans to file more lawsuits in the coming weeks. According to the attorney, the lawsuits aim to hold NEXUS and Michels “accountable for specific damages they’ve caused,” and to prevent future pipeline builders from “trampling on the rights of property owners.” The charges vary, but include allegations of pumping water and silt onto farms without permission from the owners, destroying topsoil and crops (without compensation), failure to repair damaged drain tiles, and more. Continue reading
Two days ago MDN revealed which rock layers Cabot Oil & Gas is targeting with new test wells in central Ohio (see New Details Emerge on Cabot’s Shale Plans in Central Ohio). Today we answer the question, What does Cabot hope to find? Cabot representative Brittany Ramos told an area newspaper that the company is looking for, “a hydrocarbon, an oil, natural gas, natural gas liquid, something, in the layers below the Utica Shale, but the only way to find that out is to actually drill a well and test.” In other words, they don’t know. They know *something* is down there, but they aren’t sure what. We suspect they’re hoping it’s either oil or NGLs. Cabot, long known for their prolific natural gas production in Susquehanna County, PA, had a previous dalliance with oil drilling in the Texas Eagle Ford shale play–assets they ended up selling in December 2017 (see Cabot O&G Sells Texas Eagle Ford Assets for $765M, Focus on Marc.). Does the company have a renewed interest in finding oil? Perhaps. If not oil, certainly NGLs. We seriously doubt they’re looking for yet another dry gas zone. Below is yet another update on Cabot’s foray into central OH. It is one of the more fair and balanced articles we’ve read. Yes, the reporter interviewed a representative from the faux “landowner group” called the Tri-County Landowners Coalition–in reality an anti-fossil fuel group controlled by elements of the Big Green movement (see Fake Ohio Landowner Groups Launch Misinformation Campaign). In this article the reporter actually asks Cabot to respond to the wild claims made by the Tri-County rep, point for point. Cabot obliterates the anti’s arguments… Continue reading
Cabot Oil & Gas director of external affairs, George Stark, recently spoke to the Ashland Times-Gazette about the company’s plans to drill test wells in and around Ashland County, OH. As MDN previously reported, Cabot is sniffing around central Ohio, looking for “what’s next” after the Marcellus Shale. Last December we told you that Cabot has leased acreage in Ashland County (see Cabot O&G Considers Drilling in Ashland County, OH). Two weeks ago we told you that Cabot has filed for its first permit to drill a test well (see Cabot Files for Permit to Drill Below the Utica in Ashland, OH). Stark revealed, in his interview, that Cabot geologists “see something in Ohio” and that Cabot “wants to go touch it.” What, exactly, does Cabot want to touch? We originally thought it was the Utica, but Stark told MDN no, it’s not the Utica–but a layer “lower than the Utica.” However, Stark won’t say specifically which layer or layers. We now think we know. We also learn (from the article) that Cabot has acreage not only in Ashland, but in four neighboring counties too… Continue reading
Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted Rover Pipeline permission to start operations at its Mainline Compressor Station 2 in Wayne County, OH. Rover is a “monster” pipeline, a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that runs from western PA, northern WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually to Canada. Rover is the largest of all Marcellus/Utica pipeline projects that will (within the next month or so) begin to flow 3.25 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). With the startup of this second mainline compressor, volume along the portions of the completed pipeline will flow 2 Bcf/d. The company maintains it is on track to have the pipeline fully operational by the end of March. It is an engineering marvel, although not without some bumps along the way (see yesterday’s post, Ohio EPA Continues to Target Rover Pipe in New FERC Letter). Here’s the stellar news that the Wayne compressor is, likely as you read this, up and running… Continue reading
In an unusual move, the Wayne County (OH) Board of Commissioners has written to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to oppose having Energy Transfer’s ET Rover pipeline come through the southern portion of their county, as currently planned. ET Rover is a 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will serve mostly U.S. customers that will cost $3.7 billion to build and run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. The bulk of the pipeline would run through Ohio, including southern Wayne County. The Board of Commissioners’ objection is unusual because Wayne is a mostly rural county with farms. Farmers, while not always welcoming of pipelines running through prized hay fields and crops, can sure use the money that would come from such a project. Farmers typically do support pipelines–and drilling. The commissioners cite safety concerns and damage to farmland in their letter to FERC… Continue reading
The NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline, a $1.5-$2.0 billion natural gas pipeline that will carry Utica and Marcellus Shale gas spanning 11 counties in Ohio, 3 counties in Michigan, and eventually connect to the Dawn Energy Hub in Canada, has had to take some Ohio landowners to court simply to gain access to their property survey for potential routes. Sometimes county judges rule against NEXUS (see Summit County, OH Judge Denies NEXUS Request to Survey Properties). Most of the time county judges rule in favor of NEXUS (see NEXUS Pipeline Sues for Survey Access, Wins Most of the Time). Another place NEXUS has just won is in Wayne County, where a county judge has ordered two property owners to allow NEXUS access to their property… Continue reading
It appears that an anti-pipeline member of the Wayne County, OH sheriff’s department, Capt. Doug Hunter, has convinced his boss, Sheriff Travis Hutchinson, to ride roughshod over the members of the department–telling deputies they can’t, in their off-duty hours, moonlight as security guards for the NEXUS Pipeline. Hunter’s argument to Hutchinson is that a member of the sheriff’s department going out with surveyors, who have been threatened by anti-pipeline wackos, somehow “intimidates” landowners. Even though the sheriff’s deputies are not in uniform, not driving a police car, and are otherwise unrecognizable to landowners as belonging to the sheriff’s department when they tag along to be sure the surveyors don’t get accosted by the peace-loving landowners the sheriff is “sworn to serve.” Sheriff Hutchinson bought Hunter’s argument hook, line and sinker. And so Sheriff Hutchinson has told his deputies what they can and can’t do in their off-duty hours. Hmmm. We wonder how the deputies like being told what they can and can’t do when they’re off the clock? We wonder if they like the sheriff preventing them from earning extra money working for a private company (a common practice with off-duty law officers)? Could the sheriff himself be breaking the law by disallowing his deputies from working for one specific private company, when (we presume) he allows the very same practice for other private companies?… Continue reading
Devon Energy has put Wayne County, OH’s lone Utica shale well up for sale, along with another Utica well they own in Guernsey County. To which we say we were surprised. We had forgotten Devon had drilled (or owned) any Utica wells in the first place. Perhaps the reason they’re dumping the Wayne County well, which the say has “future utility,” is because it hasn’t produced a thing–oil or natural gas. The well in Guernsey also appears to be a bust. Here’s the brief blurb we caught on Devon exiting the Utica… Continue reading
Ask anyone who’s ever worked on laying pipelines and you’ll find it can be back-breaking work. First you dig a trench, then you lay the pipeline. However, while digging the trench and laying the pipeline, you also need to install a barrier every 50 feet or so to stop water from running down the trench, leading to soil erosion. Most of the time sandbags are used. Stacking 30-50 pound sandbags around a pipe in a single location typically takes a couple of people an hour or more. However, Ohio entrepreneurs have come to the rescue. Dalton’s Spray Foam Solutions in Dalton, OH now offers a much faster and easier way, using spray foam. Spray it in, the foam hardens–clinging to the pipe and the soil–and in about 15 minutes (1/4 the time) a much easier solution is in place, protecting the environment, saving time, and reducing the need for Icy Hot Patches for the workers… Continue reading
Just about a month ago, MDN brought you the news that Energy Transfer Partners was planning a major new Marcellus/Utica Shale pipeline to transport up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of northeast shale gas to markets in the Midwest and Canada (see Big News: ETP “Rover” Marcellus/Utica Pipeline to Midwest/Canada). The project includes building 600 miles of 24, 36 or 42-inch pipeline mainly through Ohio and Michigan and into Ontario, Canada. On this side of the border it will be reviewed and permitted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The problem with the pipeline, from landowners’ perspective, is that it will have the power of eminent domain, leaving them with little negotiating power… Continue reading
Early on, way back in 2010, landowners in Wayne and Holmes counties along the western reaches of the Utica Shale play in Ohio received a lot of interest–and offers–to lease their land. For a time it seemed promising. Some landowners signed on for under $100 per acre as a signing bonus, which at the time seemed like a good deal. Some got paid as much as $2,500 per acre to sign. Today, for landowners in the “sweet spot” of the Utica in places like Belmont, Guernsey and Harrison counties, it’s not uncommon to receive $5,000 or more per acre as a signing bonus.
Devon Energy was one of the early drillers to get permits in Ashland, Wayne and Holmes counties. But then it all went sideways for Devon when they didn’t get good results from the early test wells they drilled in the region. Devon threw in the towel in the Ohio Utica and put their (considerable) acreage up for sale (see Devon Energy Puts 240K Acres of Utica Shale Leases Up for Sale). What’s been happening in Wayne and Holmes over the past few years? Not much–and it appears it will stay that way for some time to come… Continue reading
More happy news from the Marcellus and Utica supply chain: Wooster Tool & Dye, a company that manufactures gas and oil separation tanks used by shale drilling companies, has been offered a seven-year tax credit to add 120 new full-time jobs to their existing workforce of 110. The new jobs will average $21 an hour. If the company accepts the deal (not yet a done deal, but it looks promising), they will agree to maintain operations in Wooster, OH for at least the next 10 years:
Devon Energy has signed an iron-clad agreement with Wayne County, Ohio to repair any damage caused by heavy trucks to roadways and bridges in the county from their drilling activities. A meeting on Tuesday night in Fredericksburg, OH was standing-room only as officials and local residents assembled to hear about the agreement.
Devon Energy has just received the first permit to drill a Utica Shale well in Wayne County, Ohio. No timeline is set for when the drilling will begin, but Devon hopes the well will yield not only methane but oil too.