Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Jan 4-8

Two of three M-U drilling states received permits last week. Pennsylvania scored 10 permits to drill new shale wells. Ohio received 2 permits for Utica wells. West Virginia received no new permits to drill new shale wells.

NOTE: This post was updated on 1/14/21. We previously reported a set of 6 wells in WV in error–those wells received permits in 2020 and not 2021. Sorry! Thank you to a sharp MDN reader who flagged it for us.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Dec 21-Jan 1

We’re catching up the permits issued over the past two weeks (prior to this week). Pennsylvania issued 11 permits during that time, and West Virginia issued 3 permits. Ohio issued no new shale drilling permits over the past two weeks.
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PA DEP Issues Fed. 401 Water Crossing Permit to NFG’s FM100 Pipe

In March 2019 MDN told you about National Fuel Gas Company’s (NFG) FM100 Project in northwestern Pennsylvania that will beef up and extend an existing pipeline network to flow an extra 330 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of Marcellus gas to Williams’ mighty Transco Pipeline (see NFG FM100 Pipe Project in NW PA to Feed Marcellus Gas to Transco). The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently issued a federal Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the project.
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Seneca Resources Sells 92K Acres of Timberland in PA/NY

Some of the acreage purchased from Seneca (Photo: Courtesy of LandVest)

The Lyme Timber Company has closed on a deal to buy approximately 92,000 acres of forestland in North Central Pennsylvania and Southwest New York from Marcellus/Utica driller Seneca Resources for $116 million. Wait, why did Seneca own all of that acreage to begin with?
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Sep 28 – Oct 2

Somebody lit a fire under drillers in Pennsylvania last week! Or maybe we should say a fire was lit under the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). PA issued 35 new permits last week spread pretty much across the entire state–in the northeast, central, and southwest portions of the state. Ohio, once again, issued no new Utica permits last week. West Virginia issued a single new permit last week.
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EQT Provides More Details on DGO Asset Sale, 1.4 Bcf/d Curtailment

EQT announced yesterday it has closed on a deal to sell “certain non-strategic assets” to Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) for $125 million, plus another potential $20 million later on. MDN first told you about this deal on May 13 (see Diversified Buys 900 EQT Wells (67 Shale Wells) for $125M). This is the first time EQT has commented publicly on the DGO deal. EQT’s statement differs from previous news accounts about the deal.
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NFG FM100 Pipe Project in NW PA to Feed Marcellus Gas to Transco

We’ve just caught wind of a “new” pipeline project coming from National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) in northwestern Pennsylvania that will beef up and extend an existing pipeline network to flow an extra 330 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of Marcellus gas to Williams’ mighty Transco Pipeline. It’s called the FM100 Project. Kind of sources like a radio station, no?
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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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