Seneca Resources 100% PA Utica Focused by ‘End of Fiscal Year’

While Buffalo “Marcellus” Bills owner Terry Pegula’s JKLM Energy has been “steadily increasing activity” in Potter County, PA (northcentral PA) grabbing headlines, another company, National Fuel Gas (NFG) subsidiary Seneca Resources, is also active in Potter and several neighboring northcentral PA counties (Cameron, McKean, Elk, and Lycoming). We spotted a pair of stories in a local newspaper recounting Seneca’s activity to date, and outlining plans for the future. One statement in particular stood out for us: Seneca will be “shifting to 100-percent Utica development by the end of this fiscal year.” At first blush, you might think “end of fiscal year” means by Dec. 31, 2017. However, NFG and subsidiary Seneca operate on a strange fiscal year. Fourth quarter 2017 (Oct-Dec) is NFG/Seneca’s first quarter 2018 fiscal period. Since the quote about focusing 100% on PA Utica drilling came at the end of November, we interpret the quote to mean “Seneca will be 100% focused on the PA Utica by September 2018.” At any rate, let’s not get caught up in semantics and timing. The takeaways from the pair of articles below, which appeared about a week apart at end of November/beginning of December, are: (1) Seneca is shifting to 100% Utica drilling; (2) Seneca spent 60% more on drilling in 2017 than 2016; (3) Seneca is currently running either 1 or 2 rigs, depending on which quote from which story you read; and (4) between royalty payments, impact tax payments and money spent with local PA businesses, Seneca has now spent nearly $1 billion on shale drilling–all of it in northcentral PA…
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Pin Oak Energy Snaps Up 4,300 Acres, 16 Wells from Seneca in NWPA

In August MDN introduced you to a new-to-us driller based in Akron, Ohio–Pin Oak Energy Partners (see New Marcellus/Utica Driller Snaps Up Assets in OH, PA). Pin Oak is owns both conventional and unconventional (shale) oil and natural gas wells, along with associated assets (like pipelines). At the time, Pin Oak currently operated 363 wells producing nearly 5.7 MMcfe/d (32% liquids) across more than 32,000 acres in the Marcellus/Utica region. You can now add another 16 wells (14 Marcellus, 2 Utica) and 4,300 acres to those totals. Yesterday Pin Oak announced they have purchased wells and acreage from Seneca Resources–in Forest, Elk, McKean and Cameron counties in Pennsylvania. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. We can also tell you that last week Pin Oak got an increase in their line of credit with the bank–now able to borrow up to $150 million. Here’s the latest on the newest (rapidly growing) entrant to the Marcellus/Utica…
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Seneca Resources & IOG Extend JV to Drill More Wells in PA

Seneca ResourcesIn December MDN told you that Seneca Resources (a wholly owned subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company) had cut a deal with energy investor IOG Capital to essentially fund Seneca’s Marcellus drilling program in Elk, McKean and Cameron counties in north-central Pennsylvania (see Seneca Res. Cuts Deal with IOG Capital to Fund Up to 80 PA Wells). The deal was for IOG to fund development for an initial 75 wells. So far 39 of the 75 wells have been drilled. Yesterday Seneca announced that their deal with IOG has been revised and extended. The new total well count that IOG will participate in is 82. The royalty split has also been revised with Seneca’s royalty in 36 of the wells going down–from 10% to 7.5%. Here’s the full details on this somewhat complicated arrangement that allows Seneca to keep on drilling…
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Mr. Causer Goes to Washington – To Talk About PA Pipelines

Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonPennsylvania State Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) testified before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture in Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 13. Causer was there to tell the House Agriculture Committee that new pipelines are desperately needed in the farm country he represents. We have a copy of Rep. Causer’s masterful testimony below…
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Seneca Res. Cuts Deal with IOG Capital to Fund Up to 80 PA Wells

Art of the DealYesterday National Fuel Gas Company, the utility giant headquartered in Buffalo, NY and parent of Marcellus driller Seneca Resources, announced that Seneca has partnered up with energy investor IOG Capital to essentially fund Seneca’s Marcellus drilling program in Elk, McKean and Cameron counties in north-central Pennsylvania. The outlines of the deal are thus: IOG will provide the cash and Seneca will do the drilling on up to 80 Marcellus wells on 10,500 acres in the Clermont/Rich Valley area of PA. IOG will get an 80% working interest in the wells. In addition to drilling the wells, National Fuel’s midstream subsidiary will connect the wells and get the gas to market. What this deal means is that Marcellus drilling activity in the Clermont/Rich Valley area will pick up over the few years. Here’s the details of this somewhat complicated deal…
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Marcellus Drilling Helps Local Elk Population Flourish

One of the potential problems raised by those who oppose shale drilling is how it impacts wildlife. They maintain when you carve up forests with clear spots for drill pads, and carve up pathways for pipelines, and have trucks traveling in and out around the clock, it damages the wildlife (see USGS Study: Marcellus Drilling Fragmenting Forests in PA. Who’s not for being kind to the wild critters around us? At MDN HQ we faithfully maintain our bird feeder in the front yard and go out of our way to avoid hitting squirrels (just so you know our enviro creds). It certainly sounds reasonable that “fragmenting” forests may impact wild species. So let’s have a look at a real example. How about the wild elk that roam around Elk, McKean and Cameron counties in northcentral Pennsylvania? In 2008, at the dawn of the shale revolution in PA when there were no wells, there were about 500 wild elk roaming those three counties. Today, with more than 100 wells drilled in those three counties, the elk population has almost doubled. Say what? Yep–drilling has helped the local wildlife in northcentral PA…
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Endeavour 2Q14: Completes 3rd PA Marcellus Well of the Year

Endeavour International, a driller with operations in both the North Sea (off-shore) and the U.S. (on-shore) issued their second quarter 2014 update yesterday. Does the Endeavour name sound familiar? Three years ago MDN told you about Endeavour’s deal to buy 50,000 Marcellus Shale acres, a pipeline and three working Marcellus wells, all located in McKean and Potter counties in Pennsylvania (see Endeavour International Buys Lease for Additional 50K Marcellus Acres & Local Pipeline in PA from SM Energy). Five months later Endeavour backed out of the deal and 2 1/2 years of litigation ensued, finally settling in April of this year (see Endeavour & SM Energy Settle Lawsuit over PA Marcellus Properties). Endeavour still owns 27,200 gross Marcellus acres in Elk, Cameron, Clarion, Jefferson and Clearfield counties, and in 2Q14 they successfully completed their third frack job…
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Seneca Resources 3Q14: Drilling Moves Away from Lycoming County

Seneca Resources, the Marcellus Shale drilling division of midstream and utility company National Fuel Gas headquartered in Buffalo, NY, issued their fiscal third quarter (everyone else’s calendar second quarter) update yesterday. Among the interesting items: Seneca has shifted its focus on new drilling away from Lycoming County, PA (Williamsport area) westward to Elk, McKean and Cameron counties. The shift in focus will remain until Williams completes its recently announced Atlantic Sunrise Expansion pipeline project. Also of note was the increase in Seneca’s production and where it came from…
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Seneca Drills First Upper Devonian Well with Impressive Results

Seneca Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Buffalo-based National Fuel Gas Company, reports drilling their very first Upper Devonian shale well in Lycoming County, PA. The results are impressive: a peak 24-hour production rate of 14.1 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day, and an average 8.6 MMcf per day during its first 30 days. The Upper Devonian (UD) is a number of shale layers lumped together under one umbrella name. The specific layer targeted by Seneca for their first UD well is the Geneseo rock layer.

Word of Seneca’s success in the UD comes as part of an operational update issued by National Fuel Gas yesterday. Another gem in the update: Seneca has just completed drilling a 9-well pad and is almost finished drilling a 6-well pad. Here’s the full update from Seneca with the exciting UD news…
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Endeavour Intl & Samson Exploration Form 50/50 Marcellus JV

One of the Marcellus Shale’s smaller drilling/midstream companies is Endeavour International, with 15,800 acres of leased Marcellus acreage according to NaturalGasIntel.com. Endeavour announced yesterday they’ve sold a 50% stake in their Marcellus assets to Samson Exploration, forming a joint venture with Samson. The amount of cash involved in the transaction was undisclosed.

According to the announcement, Endeavour will use the money from Samson to complete three previously drilled Marcellus wells in Cameron County, PA and hook them up to an EQT Corp. gathering pipeline. The wells should be online by the middle of 2014…
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Seneca Resources Reports Production Up 35% Thanks to Marcellus

Seneca Resources, the drilling arm of National Fuel Gas Company, issued their fiscal 4th quarter (everyone else’s calendar 3rd quarter) operations update yesterday. Seneca is one of the major drillers in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. They report production for 4Q was up a very healthy 35% over the same period last year. They credit their Marcellus drilling program in Lycoming County, PA for that success.

Because of their success, Seneca has revised up their guidance (best guess) for how much natural gas they’ll produce this fiscal year–to 145-165 billion cubic feet (Bcf). The full report from Seneca, including initial production rates from some of their recently drilled wells…
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Seneca Resources Production Up 67%, Now 1/3 Bcf/d in Marcellus

Seneca Resources, the Marcellus Shale drilling subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company, released their fiscal third quarter (everyone else’s second quarter) operating results today. And boy of boy, were they good results! Seneca reports their Marcellus Shale production was up 67% from the same quarter last year, due to newly drilled wells in Lycoming County, PA going online. Seneca’s total Marcellus production was 374 million cubic feet per day average–or one-third of a billion cubic feet per day. Cabot Oil & Gas and now EQT have both hit 1 Bcfe/d of production in the Marcellus (see EQT 2Q13: Welcome to the Marcellus “1 Bcf/d Club”). Seems like Seneca is well on its way to the 1 Bcfe/d milestone too.

Here’s the full report, including details for some of the newest wells they’ve drilled in Elk, Cameron and Forest counties, and details about their use of a drilling technique called reduced cluster spacing (“RCS”) design:
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Energy Company EQT Buys Rights to 58,000 Acres in PA, Now Holds 500K Net Acres in the Marcellus Shale

EQT Corp. said today it is buying mineral rights to 58,000 net acres in the Marcellus Shale from a group of private operators and landowners for $280 million in stock and cash. That works out to $4,828 per acre. While the names of the sellers were not disclosed, most of the land is located in the Pennsylvania counties of Cameron, Clearfield, Elk and Jefferson.

The deal includes a 200 mile gathering system and approximately 100 producing vertical wells. The deal is expected to close on April 30th, at which time EQT will then control approximately 500,000 net acres in the Marcellus Shale.

More Details: Yahoo Finance (Mar 2) – EQT Announces Strategic Marcellus Acreage Acquisition; Increases EUR per Marcellus Well; Provides Update on Latest Marcellus Well