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Southwestern Energy inks $5.37 billion deal for Marcellus, Utica assets in Pennsylvania, W.Va.

marcellus_studyarea--300x197By Anya Litvak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced Thursday that it will shed its liquids-rich Marcellus Shale acreage in a $5.38 billion deal with Southwestern Energy Co.

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake, whose leasing appetite in the Marcellus made it among the top companies holding claim to the land here, said the area being sold — mostly in West Virginia and in the western part of Pennsylvania’s Washington County — wasn’t being properly valued by the market and was near the bottom of Chesapeake’s priority list.

Jason Ashmun, vice president of the Appalachian North Business Unit for Chesapeake, said the company has been “on the bubble” about its southern Marcellus acreage, which includes about 14,000 acres in southwestern Pennsylvania.

As is common among energy exploration companies, Chesapeake’s teams in the company’s various operation territories compete for capital allocations, which have been on the decline since CEO Doug Lawler replaced Aubrey McClendon at the helm last year. Mr. Lawler’s arrival signaled a shift in the company’s spending strategy and a greater focus on efficiency.

“Chesapeake’s very aggressive historical push for growth necessitated investment that substantially outstripped operating cash flow,” said analysts from Standard & Poor’s in a note Thursday morning that upgraded the company’s outlook from stable to positive on news of the Marcellus deal.


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2014 West Coast Oil & Gas Awards Winners Announcement

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The Oil & Gas Awards announce this year’s annual West Coast Oil & Gas Awards recipients in recognition of those companies who excel in the key areas of Health & Safety, Operational Excellence, Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship.

The second annual West Coast Oil & Gas Awards was held in Bakersfield, CA, on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at the Marriot Convention Center. Where over three hundred guests enjoyed the champagne reception, canapés, and an extended finalists showcase, profiling all of the West Coast Oil & Gas Awards finalist companies, before moving through to the banquet hall to dine.

The gala dinner opened with a few words of thanks from Daniel Creasey, Chairman of the Oil & Gas Awards, swiftly followed by the keynote address from State Senator Jean Fuller, 18th District. Senator Fuller delivered a rousing address to all attendees before the guests settled down to dine.

Once the guests had finished their three-course meal, Marc Bridgen, CMO of the Oil & Gas Awards, conducted the awards ceremony. Each finalist gained recognition for their contributions to the industry and had their judges comments read out to the audience, before they were treated to a round of applause. Each winning company was then called to the stage to collect their award and were photographed in front of the attending crowd and media in recognition and celebration of their accomplishments. 

Congratulations to the following companies for their great achievements in the 2014 West Coast Oil & Gas Awards:

The Award for Drilling Excellence – Baker Hughes

The Construction Company of the Year – EIU of California

The Industry Supplier of the Year – Metal Supply, Inc

The Water Management Company of the Year – Water Planet Engineering

The Award for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility  E&B Natural Resources Management Corporation

The Consultancy of the Year – Roberts Companies

The Manufacturer of the Year – Hawk Industries, Inc.

The Kenworth Trucks Oilfield Services Company of the Year – Halliburton

The Engineering Company of the Year – TJ Cross Engineers, Inc.

The Breitling Energy Future Industry Leader – Robert Murphy – Chevron

The Award for Excellence in Health & Safety – Ensign United States Drilling (California) Inc.

The General Industry Service Award – Tachyus

The VZ Environmental Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship  Preferred Sands

The New Technology Development of the Year Award – Clearsign Combustion Corporation

The TEEMCO E&P Company of the Year Award – Signal Hill Petroleum

The MTS Solutions Industry Leader – Steve Layton – E&B Natural Resources Management Corporation

Congratulations to all of the 2014 West Coast Oil & Gas Awards winners and thanks to all our partners and sponsors.

If you would like to arrange interviews, review video or photo content and receive additional information about the winners or the awards initiative, please contact: Michael Large +1 (210) 591 8468 or email ml@oilandgasawards.com


About the Oil & Gas Awards- The Oil & Gas Awards recognize the outstanding achievements made within the upstream and midstream sectors of the North American oil and gas industry. The Awards are a platform for the industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of environment, efficiency, innovation, corporate social responsibility and health and safety. The Awards show the industry’s motivation to develop by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of corporations and individuals.

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WPX Energy On Eliminating Trucking & Recycling Nearly 100% of Produced Water In The Rockies

untitled Tyler Bittner Engineering Manager, WPX Energy

“What we see is the technology is changing rapidly. We want to stay at the forefront of that.”

Are regulatory updates across the Rockies states encouraging or hindering reusing produced water for fracking?

For us, in the Piceance basin, I’m going to say encouraging. The state is really supportive of water sharing agreements within the Piceance basin. So that’s a yes.

There is a lot of pressure towards reusing produced water for fracking currently – how can operators manage these pressures?

I believe most operators want to reuse their water, and for us there are regulatory pressures. Because we use slick water approach to complete our wells, it makes it easier for us to recycle our water. When you go to the front range, where operators’ chemistry requires a more complicated completion fluid, it becomes more difficult. So here, it’s very straightforward.

For us, there is a cost of recycling the produced water, but it makes more sense than pulling freshwater out of the river; this gives us a real advantage.

Water sources are under stress from industries besides the oil and gas industry, do you believe reusing produced water is the solution to water sourcing issues?

Using produced water is a good option for all operators. Obviously, there are economic restraints depending on the quality of water you have to clean and where you have to take it to, to reuse it. Locally, we’re sensitive to the stress of sourcing freshwater – obviously in Colorado, water is key to everyone. We made the switch to recycling close to 100% of our produced water and really, in the local community’s eyes, it made sense. It’s something that we’re proud of.

What kinds of water treatments do you use? Which are the most successful?

For us, we’re not addressing the overall TDS, we’re just cleaning up the water to a level where we can send it back out to the field to use for completions. We have a very in-depth treating program – the main treating process we use is the DAF (dissolved air floatation), which removes all solids and residual hydrocarbons so we can send clean water back out to the field.

In the Piceance Basin, WPX recycles nearly 100% of your water – can you explain how this is managed through your in-house recycling plant?

WPX Energy has two main facilities where we treat and store clean water. It’s a very good approach in regards to communication within the company and the different facets between production, completions and water management that ensures we have the proper storage and volumes required for our completion operations. It’s a very integrated process amongst the teams here locally that ensures we have the right amount of water stored and available for completions. When we get in times of excess, we really have to watch that to avoid costs associated with disposal.

What projects are you working on to transport water from the well site to your recycling plant?

What we typically do is try to eliminate any trucking. When we develop our fields, when possible we install water lines with our gas lines. Through this approach we extend our water infrastructure to those areas of development, so that we can move high rate water to our completion operations, and once the completion is done, we try to have our infrastructure in place so that we can pump all that water back and not truck it.

And this is very similar to what your presentation will be on at the conference- can you briefly outline what you’ll be speaking about?

What I’ll talk about is our strategy on recycling water and give a quick overview of our flow process, the water treatment facilities, and then also talk about what that means. This includes how we set up our future completion areas and how we move that water throughout the field. As well as what we do to eliminate trucking, and also I’ll talk a little bit about our solids management, because we do have to deal with some degree of solids – that can be quite costly. Solids are a key point in the economics.

Why is it important for you to speak at this event, and why should other professionals in the water management industry attend?

For us, its been a couple of years since we attended the conference, we’re looking for new technologies, new ways to treat our water.

So you’re looking to meet providers of water treatment solutions?

Exactly. What we see is the technology is changing rapidly, and there are people looking at ways to improve the efficiencies of reused water. We want to stay at the forefront of that.


Tyler Bittner will be speaking at the conference.



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NETL developing working lab to improve shale drilling

oil drilling rig on oilfieldBy Anya Litvak

It’s not easy to convince an oil and gas operator to experiment with a $30 million well pad, to put a different kind of sand into a well that has been responding just fine to the status quo or to try fracking it with liquefied natural gas instead of the cheap, available and proven water mixture used today.

It takes some finesse and the promise of much greater yields in the future, even if that future is more than a decade away.

That’s the uneasy task of Jared Ciferno, the Pittsburgh-based director of the strategic center for natural gas and oil at the National Energy Technology Laboratory that serves as the fossil fuel research arm of the Department of Energy.

“We’ll pay you to do it,” he tells companies.

But government funding isn’t really the draw.

It’s this: Even with all the millions of dollars spent tapping a single shale well, the hundreds of trucks and webs of pipelines and millions of tons of water and sand, only between 5 percent and 30 percent of the fuel trapped in the ground comes out through the well.

Read more:


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Seasoned And Independent Views On The Importance Of Reusing Produced Water

Bob Poole, Public & Government Affairs Manager - Santa Maria Energy  and  Philip Winner, President & CEO- Outrider Energy

"Reusing water is environmentally friendly and if you can do it in a cost competitive way, that’s really just win-win."

What is the importance of reusing produced water, and how can operators go about doing that? The importance is that reuse can impact economics either at the well level or the project level, so it can become a real competitive advantage if you can reduce operating costs and achieve better economics. Almost by definition, the lowest cost commodity producer will win in the long term. You can with stand price fluctuations better, you might be able to develop areas that are not economic for a higher cost operator, or you can submit a more competitive bid in the acquisition market. What I think we need to strive for is a reuse solution that’s not only low cost, but environmentally responsible as well. That’s really the objective to accomplish both. That’s where a lot of the water reuse benefits can come from: reusing water can be environmentally friendly and if you can do it in a cost competitive way, you’ve created a win – win solution.

Do you believe that the regulatory updates across the Rockies States are encouraging or hindering reusing produced water for fracking? Yes, I think produced water reuse can have a positive effect on public perception of fracking as it takes away competition for other water sources. It’s increasingly important for the industry to work together with regulators and the communities in which they operate to fashion some common sense rules that are going to work for both sides.

Pressures towards produced water are mounting, how can operators manage these pressures? I think there’s a tremendous amount of community outreach that can be done. I know the major operators are trying to inform and educate the public about that. There is one thing that needs to be distinguished, and that is the difference between frac water and produced water, because they’re really two very different things. The produced water is interestingly probably the bigger water volume and the longer - term issue. While there is a lot of public interest in fracking and frac water, that’s actually not where the biggest resource is, it’s primarily in the produced water and how the industry is handling that.

Why is it important for you to speak at events like this, and why would you encourage other professionals in the water management industry to attend?  It’s important for me on several levels: first of all, my experience has been that most professionals in the industry are responsible environmental stewards, so I think it’s important to provide opportunities such as this to really understand and appreciate what some of the leading companies are doing in order to manage their water resources. Professionals from smaller companies will benefit from seeing what some of the larger companies are doing, seeing what the state of the technology is, getting regulatory updates, and networking. Secondly, there’s never been a more exciting time in the industry. We’re now developing a huge resource base that dramatically strengthens our county’s economic and political base.As exciting as that is, we have to be the best we can be in developing the resource in a responsible way so as an industry, we not just maintain, but strengthen our social license to operate. To me, there’s no higher calling than providing affordable energy in a responsible way.

Water sources are under stress from industries besides the oil and gas industry, do you believe reusing produced water is the solution to water sourcing issues? It is a big part of the solution. In addition, there are opportunities to use reclaimed wastewater for a variety of other uses as well. We have an exciting future ahead with reconditioning, reusing and thereby, recycling water. Exciting new technologies and applications are becoming more and more available every day.

How important is it for the oil & gas industry to look into sharing water resources?  Very important. As long as we ensure our needs are satisfied first with the reconditioning of produced water, I think there are real opportunities, with regional variations of course to increase our ability to add to the water resources available for a variety of uses, including agricultural. In addition, we have real opportunities to turn produced water into fresh water employing reverse osmosis and other technologies.

TOW14_125x104Philip and Bob will be speaking at the conference.

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