Shell Sells NWPA Assets, Possibly Tioga County Assets Too

MDN recently received a hot tip from a reader that says Shell (i.e. SWEPI) may have recently sold its Tioga County, PA assets in northcentral PA. Yesterday, Pin Oak Energy issued a press release to say they have cut a deal to buy Shell’s northwestern PA assets, some 43,000 acres in the Utica. Which all feeds into the rumor we shared with you last November that Shell is pulling out of PA drilling (see Is Shell Pulling Out of Pennsylvania Marcellus?).

4/9/19: See important update below provided by Shell
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Fed Judge Reverses Class Action in PA Landowner Lawsuit v. Shell

A notable development in a lawsuit that before now, we were unaware of. Several landowners in Venango County (northwest PA) filed a lawsuit against Shell’s SWEPI drilling subsidiary in 2013 claiming SWEPI had stiffed them out of lease bonus payments due under duly signed lease contracts. The landowners attempted to turn the lawsuit into a class action, claiming the same thing had happened for about 300 leases in the area. A federal judge has just ruled against converting the lawsuit into a class action.
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New Marcellus/Utica Driller Snaps Up Assets in OH, PA

It’s not often these days we get to announce a new driller in the Marcellus/Utica. Today is one of those days. Actually, this company has been around since early 2015, but we’re only now becoming aware of them. Pin Oak Energy Partners, headquartered in Akron, OH, is an exploration and production company engaged in both conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas wells and the operation of associated assets (like pipelines). Pin Oak currently operates 363 wells producing nearly 5.7 MMcfe/d (32% liquids) across more than 32,000 acres in the Marcellus/Utica region. The company is also involved in midstream, field services and operations through its affiliate companies. Pin Oak is on an aggressive acquisition binge of shale AND midstream assets, as well as leasing new acreage. Who is Pin Oak? According to CEO Chris Halvorson, Pin Oak is comprised of folks who were formerly with AB Resources. You may recall that AB Resources built a position in the southwestern “core” of the Marcellus and sold out to Chevron several years ago. Pin Oak is “what’s next” for for the former AB folks. Their target: the Appalachian basin. In July, Pin Oak bought 9,300 acres of leases and 8 Utica wells from EQT in Guernsey, Muskingum, and Columbiana counties (Ohio). Earlier this week Pin Oak announced they’ve purchased another 7,700 acres of leases and 10 Utica wells from an undisclosed seller in Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Mahoning counties (in Ohio) and Mercer, Crawford and Venango counties (in Pennsylvania). Below are two recent announcements. Pin Oak can be summed up in one word: aggressive. Keep a close eye on this company in the coming months and years…
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Western PA Pipeline Upgrade Almost Done; Benefits Range & Seneca

upgradeA pipeline upgrade project in western Pennsylvania is making excellent progress. In February 2014 National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Line N West Side Expansion and Modernization Project in Washington, Allegheny, Beaver, Venango and Mercer Counties, PA. The project calls for building some 23 miles of new pipeline next to an existing NFG pipeline in Washington and Beaver counties, along with compressor station and other upgrades along other portions of the existing Line N pipeline. NFG previously signed Range Resources and NFG’s own subsidiary, Seneca Resources, as customers for an increase in capacity to flow an additional 175,000 decatherms per day, Dth/d (175 million cubic feet per day, MMcf/d). The extra capacity allows Range and Seneca to move of the Marcellus Shale gas they produce in western PA to market. Although construction is still underway, NFG has asked FERC to begin partial service now, two months ahead of schedule…
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PA Driller Slapped with $250K Fine for Dumping Brine, Erosion

UPDATE: An alert MDN reader from Venango County with industry knowledge contacted MDN to say he very much doubts Henderson has done any Marcellus Shale drilling. Henderson’s history is as a shallow/conventional driller and not a shale driller. Thanks for that clarification!

William Henderson, the president and operator of three companies–Titusville Oil & Gas Associates Inc., Eagle Line Corporation, and Olympia Oil Services Inc.–has been fined $250,000 by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for violations of the Clean Stream Law, Solid Waste Management Act, and Oil and Gas Act. The DEP says Henderson and his companies have caused environmental damage from illegal discharges of production fluids (brine), for causing erosion, and more. The violations occurred from 2010 to 2014. It’s not clear to MDN that any of the violations were from Marcellus Shale drilling activities, but it seems likely. Here’s what the DEP said, along with information not provided by the DEP that MDN has dug up on Henderson from 2011…
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Will Halcon Get So-So Results on OH Side of the Utica?

Although some analysts have given Halcón Resources a drubbing the past few weeks over lackluster production performance for some of their initial Utica Shale wells in Pennsylvania, that’s not slowing the company down. It’s full speed ahead of Halcón–especially in Trumbull County, OH where the first-ever Utica well for Trumbull was drilled (last year) by Halcón will soon go online. Crews are busy at work laying pipeline that will run from several Halcón wells in Trumbull…
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Halcon Resources Completes 2 Utica Shale Wells…in PA!

Halcon Resources, a driller headquartered in Houston, TX, is active in half a dozen different shale plays in the U.S., including the Utica Shale. The surprise part is that Halcon is drilling in the Utica in Pennsylvania as well as Ohio. Yes the Utica does underlay a large part of PA as well as eastern OH, but only a handful of Utica wells have been drilled in PA (from all drillers) because the prolific Marcellus Shale layer under PA has commanded the most attention.

Halcon’s CEO Floyd Wilson says the company has two rigs drilling in the Utica now, but it’s still very early days for “one of the most exciting unconventional resources plays in the lower 48.” Two of the eight wells they’ve spud (i.e. drilling) in the Utica are now completed—both of them in PA:

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Halcón Resources: Full Speed Ahead in Utica Shale for 2013

Houston-based Halcón Resources Corporation issued their fourth quarter and full year 2012 financials and operational update last week. As MDN has been reporting, Halcón is ramping up in the Utica Shale (see Location of Second Halcon Utica Well in Trumbull County, OH). Their 2012 update further confirms that they are making a big push in the Utica for 2013.

In the extract below discussing Halcón’s Utica plans for 2013, we learn they have 130,000 acres, plan to drill 20-25 new wells and will spend $200 million on their Utica drilling program for the year. Interestingly, both of their completed Utica wells are located in the Pennsylvania Utica—not in Ohio…

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Venango County Geophysical Study for Marcellus/Utica is Done

NEOS GeoSolutions, a company that measures and analyzes what’s under the ground to help energy companies figure out “what’s down there” announced yesterday they have completed a new geological and geophysical study of the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays in and around Venango County, PA. NEOS delivered the findings to the unnamed party or parties that paid for the project (the “underwriters”). According to NEOS, the rest of us (euphemistically called non-underwriters) will get to see the study results on March 15, 2013.

Landowners in Venango County: Between now and March 15, if someone turns up on your doorstep eagerly wanting to sign you to a lease, take a deep breath and ask to see a copy of the survey results before you sign anything. Information is power, and the information in these kinds of studies can give those who possess it an advantage.

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PA DEP, Marcellus Shale Coalition Admit Drilling Wastewater Likely Contaminating Drinking Water

There are 15 (of an original 27) municipal sewage treatment plants in Pennsylvania that still accept Marcellus Shale drilling wastewater. That is, until May 19 of this year.

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