Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – August 2015

There is really only one world-class hydrocarbon play in Michigan: the Antrim Shale Formation. The Antrim Shale Formation has provided a sustained 20% of Michigan’s natural gas needs for decades. No other Michigan natural resource can come close to matching that contribution to Michigan energy production.   Operators have a 90% success rate drilling Antrim wells.   On average, each Antrim well drilled will provide over half a billion cubic feet of natural gas. An Antrim well will only use a small amount of water and sand for completion (under ~10,000 gallons of h2o). Antrim wells show a solid record with regard to ground water contamination issues given the thousands that have been drilled.   Antrim wells have also Continue reading “Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – August 2015”

Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – July 2015

Westerman 1-29HD1

The big news this month is the expiration of permits 60746-60750 & permits 60765-60767 for the State Excelsior extension pads just north of M-72 in Kalkaska Michigan. Calgary based EnCana Corporation originally received these permits in 2013 but they transferred to Houston, Texas based Marathon Oil Corporation when Marathon acquired EnCana’s Michigan assets in 2014.  Each of these 8 HVHF permits that expired were estimated to require 23,100,000 gallons of water per completion.   All told, that’s approximately 185,000,000 gallons of Michigan freshwater that will not be consumed because these wells will never be drilled.

The expiration of these 8 permits is significant because it’s more conclusive evidence that HVHF in Michigan’s Collingwood formation is not economical for operators between $3/mcf & $4/mcf selling prices. Even if natural gas prices were to return to their 2008 level of $7.97/mcf, the highest price in US history, Collingwood wells would not be profitable wells by a long shot. The energy produced from the 7 wells that did make it to production from the Collingwood formation have demonstrated themselves to be an uneconomical use of Michigan’s freshwater resources for energy production. But, the uneconomical use of Michigan freshwater has Continue reading “Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – July 2015”

Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – May 2015

In the May edition of the Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly (MOGM) we see something relatively new in the Michigan Basin: hydraulic fracturing with carbon dioxide (CO2).   The nomenclature itself sounds funny because CO2 is not water and therefore the word hydraulic seems out of place.   RMP has recently acquired the Record of Well Completion for the State Sherman & Forshee & Cooper 1-33A well in Sherman Township Michigan in Osceola county.   The well was fracture stimulated with 51 tons of liquid CO2 and 10,500# of ceramic proppant in December of 2014.   The initial flowback production from the Prarie Du Chien formation was 120 BOPD and 1.5 MMCFD of natural gas.   In our February MOGM edition we were watching a company called GasFrac who is fracing using hydrocarbons.  Fracing using CO2 is similar in that both methods are waterless. Click here to open a new tab in your browser to see the State Sherman & Forshee & Cooper 1-33A well on our interactive map.

The State Sherman & Forshee & Cooper 1-33A well is south of Cadillac and just north of Rose Lake. Follow this URL to see the well on our interactive map: http://www.respectmyplanet.org/public_html/site/pru_number/?pru=17795
The State Sherman & Forshee & Cooper 1-33A well is south of Cadillac and just north of Rose Lake. Copy & paste this URL into your browser to see the well on our interactive map: http://www.respectmyplanet.org/public_html/site/pru_number/?pru=17795

If you’ve been paying attention to the clues over the past couple years, it is not surprising to hear of a Michigan well being fracture stimulated using CO2.   In 2012 we heard our first clue about CO2 when Governor Rick Snyder said “I am asking the Legislature to enact a law that will grant carbon dioxide pipelines the same legal standing as other Continue reading “Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – May 2015”

2014 Top Oil, Gas, & NGL Producing Units in the Michigan Basin

Understanding Michigan hydrocarbon production data is important for anyone interested in understanding the economics of energy production.  Join us as we continue our journey to compile oil & gas production information that helps everyone understand more about energy, economics, and the protection of our public natural resources.   There’s a ton of information out there.   But how should we break it down in a way that tells us what’s really going on?  With everything happening across our communities, at the state level, at the federal level, and even internationally, where do you focus your effort?   What really matters?

Well, one thing that matters to everybody is money.  When you get all the fluff out of the way, you realize it’s been about money the whole time.   Dolla dolla bills y’all.   Money is a common denominator regardless currency, boundary, nationality, company, or even  country.  Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if you’re talking oil, natgas, coal, wind, or solar either;  energy’s common denominator is cost per unit.   Money is the great leveler.  But understanding money can get complicated.  It gets especially complicated to understand money when you consider the long term environmental impact costs of energy production.  For example, you could have high initial investment costs that have much better long term returns with respect to environmental impacts vs low initial costs that have large long term negative consequences on the environment.

Merit Energy's website can be found here: https://www.meritenergy.com/
Merit Energy’s website can be found here: https://www.meritenergy.com/

Just looking at the oil produced or gas produced won’t tell you the whole story about energy economics either.   It will, however, teach us just a little bit more about the big picture; it’s like another brick in the wall. To understand the money as it relates to oil & gas, we need to understand fundamentals like Continue reading “2014 Top Oil, Gas, & NGL Producing Units in the Michigan Basin”

Responsibly Migrating Away from Crude Oil

Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

Crude oil and internal combustion engines are a part of our lives.   Crude oil refines into the primary energy that gets our vehicles around today.   It’s what powers our cars and trucks on freeways across America every day.   Crude oil is responsible for many jobs and products across our country and around the world.   RMP takes those jobs, especially the jobs in America, very seriously. We feel a great responsibility to make sure it is well understood that we care  about jobs provided by the oil & gas industry to Americans and people around the world.  RMP advocates, however, for an immediate and responsible migration away from crude oil as a fuel source.  By ramping up the displacement of internal combustion engines with fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), like the Toyota Mirai pictured above, America’s economy and national security will improve.  Mirai is the Japanese word for future.

Continue reading “Responsibly Migrating Away from Crude Oil”

Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – February 2015

Welcome to Volume 2 of the Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly.   In the featured image above, a GasFrac Energy Services truck rolls westbound down I-96 in Novi Michigan on February 6, 2015.  GasFrac uses a proprietary waterless fracing process to fracture rock with a mixture of liquid petroleum gases.   The main ingredient in their frac fluid is gelled propane (C3H8).

We have seen a poor success rate recently in the A1 Carbonate in Michigan for operators targeting the A1.  Many recent A1 attempts in Michigan have made the HVHF list calling for millions of gallons of water for completion in the application.   Operators have changed their completion techniques on the fly and have moved away from such high volumes of water and hydraulic fracturing altogether; but still have had no success.   One theory is that the water is damaging the formation and it therefore will not produce.  Since gelled propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8), it is soluble in the A1 formation fluids unlike water an perhaps may not Continue reading “Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – February 2015”

Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – January 2015

Welcome to the first ever edition of the Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly by RMP.   We will be publishing this monthly magazine / newsletter to keep you up to date on activity in the Michigan oil patch.  We will be taking a  look at Michigan hydrocarbon production and fresh water management.  This magazine, like everything else published at RMP, is free and will always be free.  The format will be an article like this one you’re reading with an accompanying video (like the one above) that showcases the same information.

Each month in this report we will be recapping basic activity & statistics from the prior month.  We have already published this post and this post to bring you up to speed on the basics of Michigan petroleum geology and Michigan hydrocarbon production.  As stated in the aforementioned posts, activity in Michigan is at its lowest level in recorded history since records started being kept in 1927.  So, there is not a ton of new activity to report in Michigan as most of the reservoirs we are aware of in the state are conventionally depleted and most new reservoirs found are modest producers as compared to other oil & gas plays in America.  The activity that is going on in Kalkaska, however, is different than anything that’s ever been done in Michigan.  So, even though permit numbers and activity Continue reading “Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – January 2015”

Michigan Petroleum Production 101

Understanding petroleum production in Michigan can be difficult if you’re new to it. It can also be confusing even after you’ve studied it.   My 9 year old son just started the 2014-15 basketball season.   The kids just had their first two practices last week and the coach warned the first few practices would be pretty boring. Coach said the first few practices would be dedicated to the fundamentals of dribbling, passing, and shooting exercises.   Sometimes kids just want to play games. But, they’re never going to achieve success unless time is set aside at the beginning for learning the fundamentals. My point with that anecdote is the first steps toward understanding petroleum production in Michigan are much the same. The key elements of petroleum production to know first are: history, units of measure, production resource units, and pricing.  Respectmyplanet has access to the same production data that everyone else does. What’s different is that we use exclusive software written for communicating this data in a way that’s interactive with our map.   We intend in this article to give you a primer course on production basics so in future articles we can Continue reading “Michigan Petroleum Production 101”

Michigan Petroleum Geology 101

marathon beaver creek

Let’s examine the high level 101 basics of hydrocarbons, stratigraphy, and lithology nomenclature in the Michigan Basin.   In Michigan, like everywhere else, we have different layers of rock beneath our feet.   Trapped inside the rocks beneath our feet are hydrocarbons like oil, gas, and coal.   Most of the energy produced in our history and in the world today comes from these subsurface hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbon recovery is dictated by the geologic formation and subsurface structures where it has accumulated.  Petroleum geologists look for areas where they think hydrocarbons might be trapped in a reservoir.  The rock in the reservoir must have enough permeability and pressure to get those hydrocarbons to the surface through a well bore whence they can be sold for a profit.  In Michigan, oil has been produced since the late 1800’s and gas has been produced commercially since the early 1900’s.   Michigan had significant oil activity in the 1930’s and 40’s and then a lull through the 50’s.   Activity again picked up in the late 1960’s in the Niagaran reef by the big boys like Amoco, Shell Western, and ExxonMobil because of production capacity discovered while drilling Antrim wells.   Amoco, Shell, and ExxonMobil were successful in the Niagaran reef trend in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula and activity intensified heavily in the 1980’s.  As the economy stagnated and oil prices Continue reading “Michigan Petroleum Geology 101”

Michigan Oil & Gas Exploration – A Look From 2014

au sable river
respectmyplanet.org
Have you noticed respectmyplanet.org? We’ve been mapping data related to Michigan’s natural resources and environmental protection.

Welcome to respectmyplanet.org’s first article in a long time published from the WordPress software application.   We’re glad to again be putting stories together that will help people understand more about oil & gas exploration in Michigan.  We have been reviewing Michigan oil & gas data for 4 years now.   We would like to share what we have learned from the past up through the present.  We would also like to write about what future oil & gas exploration might look like in Michigan as our public owned hydrocarbon resources become increasingly more difficult for private companies to recover for profits.

We have a series of posts planned for our oil & gas exploration category that will chronicle events in the Michigan oil patch since January of 2010 when drilling started on a well named the State Pioneer 1-3 HD1 in Missaukee county.  The January through April period of 2010 set the Continue reading “Michigan Oil & Gas Exploration – A Look From 2014”