Drilling Rig Count Down in Various Shale Regions from Last Year

by Duane Nichols on July 28, 2015

Baker – Hughes releases weekly & annual shale drilling rig count

From Pittsburgh Business Times, July 27, 2015

The number of drilling rigs in the Marcellus Shale stayed steady last week, although it’s down significantly from a year ago. There were 59 rotary rigs working the multistate Marcellus Shale play as of July 24, according to the Baker Hughes’ report. Nothing had been added or taken away in a week, although it’s down 19 rigs compared to a year ago.

By comparison, the Utica Shale added a rig to bring its count up to 23. But that’s down from the 45 working the shale play a year ago.

The Marcellus Shale is the fourth most-active shale play in terms of rotary rig counts, behind Permian (245), Eagle Ford (100) and Williston (70).

By state, these totals include Marcellus and Utica operations:

>>> Pennsylvania: 44 rigs, up one from a week ago although it’s down nine from a year ago.
>>> West Virginia: 18 rigs, unchanged from a week ago but down nine from a year ago.
>>> Ohio: 20 rigs, up one from a week ago but down 23 from a year ago.


Gas Production in WV Northern Panhandle Triples in Two Years

From an Article by Casey Junkins, Wheeling Intelligencer, July 27, 2015

Wheeling, WV –The Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas fields continue sizzling in the Northern Panhandle, as West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey statistics show drillers pumped nearly three times as much natural gas in the region during 2014 compared to 2012.

Once the Dominion Resources Cove Point liquefied natural gas export facility opens in Maryland – and the Dominion Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the EQT Corp. Mountain Valley Pipeline systems open – production numbers across Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia should increase again, according to West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association Executive Director Corky Demarco. 

In 2011, Ohio County’s natural gas production, via three traditional vertical wells, came in at 84,000 cubic feet. The total jumped to 2.7 billion cubic feet in 2012, according to the survey. However, by 2014, the Ohio County total skyrocketed to 33.5 billion cubic feet. All active horizontal shale wells in Ohio County are now operated by Southwestern Energy Co., after that firm paid $5 billion to acquire Chesapeake Energy’s West Virginia assets last year.

A similar boom is taking place in the three West Virginia counties south of Ohio – Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler. In Wetzel County, for example, where natural gas production has been strong for several years, energy companies extracted 63.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012. By the end of last year, the total had reached 165.1 billion cubic feet.

Fact Box: Production by County: 2012 and 2014
>>> Hancock — 0.01 and 0.01
>>> Brooke — 0.001 and 12.5
>>> Ohio — 2.7 and 33.5
>>> Marshall 48.5 and 93.6
>>> Wetzel 63.7 and 165.1
>>> Tyler 8.9 and 42
Figures are in billions of cubic feet.

In addition to Southwestern, drillers featuring lucrative wells in Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties include Chevron, Magnum Hunter, Antero Resources, Gastar Exploration, Stone Energy, American Energy Partners, HG Energy, Noble Energy, Consol Energy, and others.

Although WV natural gas yields continue increasing, Demarco said this will likely “level off” soon. According to the New York Mercantile Exchange, the price for a 1,000-cubic-foot unit of natural gas is now around $2.80. This is less than half the selling price for the same unit in March 2014.

“It’s an issue of supply and demand. Right now, there is an oversupply, particularly in the Appalachian Basin,” Demarco said of the region home to both the Marcellus and Utica plays. “But with the downturn in price, we can catch up with some of the pipeline construction.”

See also: www.FrackCheckWV.net

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BlackBird 7/27/15 July 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Oil & Gas Services Companies Layoffs at 58,000

Houston Chronicle, July 27, 2015

HOUSTON — Halliburton has cut nearly 14,000 jobs and Baker Hughes has laid off 13,000 employees since they began trimming their headcounts last year to cope with the oil-market crash.

Halliburton’s latest layoff estimate exceeds its April figure by 5,000 jobs, bringing its cuts up to 16 percent of its workforce. And Baker Hughes’ estimate is up by 2,500 jobs, up to 21 percent of its headcount. Halliburton’s payroll peaked at more than 80,000 last year, spokeswoman Emily Mir said. Baker Hughes had 62,000 at the end of last year, according to regulatory papers.

That means the world’s top four oil field service companies – Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International – have either cut or planned to cut 58,000 jobs this year in response to the collapse of crude prices.

The companies have reduced their headcounts and consolidated facilities across the United States and elsewhere. Houston-based Halliburton and Baker Hughes, which are in talks with antitrust regulators about sealing a $34.6 billion merger, say they haven’t cut any positions because of the deal, but rather because of the global slump in drilling activity.


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