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2016 Technical Conference and Oilfield Expo

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Getting the Next Generation Engaged in the Oilfield

Posted By Mike Chadsey, Director of Public Relations, Monday, October 24, 2016

How just one day can, turn “I like” into “I love” for the oil and gas business

Recently, on a cool Saturday morning OOGA President David Hill and I took students from the geology programs of Muskingum University and Kent State University on a series of oilfield site visits. The idea behind the trip came from a couple of talks David and I gave at Kent State (my alma mater) and Muskingum (David’s alma mater) awhile back. At the conclusion of the discussion and questions the idea of showing the students what was happening in the field was an opportunity neither they nor us could pass up. This is the second time we have hosted this trip. The first was just with Kent State, while this year we were able to add Muskingum. Hopefully from here, it continues to grow.

First location:

We started with visiting a PDC Energy Utica Shale production pad just on the outskirts of Senecaville in the heart of both Guernsey County and the shale gas play. David was able to show the students how the well was put into production, the equipment on site to manage that production as well as the state of the art technology used to make it all work. 

Second location:

David took us all to one of his Clinton Sandstone wells. He was able to show the students at this location the technology used to make this well pump and function. Here he took the opportunity to discuss the difference in wells from the first location to the second. We then moved further into the farmer’s field to check out the tanks and meters he had on site. 

Third location:

Lastly, David showed us his Class 2 Injection well. As he shared with the group, “you can’t have production without injection”. Here we watched as one of the delivery trucks unloaded and then we moved into the pump house to see how the fluid was moved from the tanks down the wellbore. Here everyone was able to see how the entire site functioned. Then we moved outside and down the hill to look at the well head. Here David was able to show how everything was managed as he pointed out to the equipment and gages. 

Then it was off to lunch (and to warm up as the cool turned to cold as the day progressed) to discuss what our guest saw today as well as what is happening in the industry. Many of the questions surrounded when will the industry come back and what will it look like when it does. The very inquisitive bunch asked about internships, who was active in Ohio, how do they get involved and what are some of the best classes to study.

Afterwards as everyone said their thanks and good byes and made their way outside to make the trek back home, I asked David what he thought of the day and what motivates him to spend a Saturday missing his grandson’s playoff football game to do this. Check out his President’s comments in the next bulletin to see his response. 

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OOGA Member Alert

Posted By Penny Seipel, Vice President of Public Affairs, Monday, October 10, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2016

As part of the development of the Obama Administrations “Methane Rules” for existing oil and gas sources, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is preparing to conduct an information collection request (ICR) from the production, gathering, processing and pipeline segments of the oil and gas industry.  

In preparation, the US EPA has developed a mailing list for each industry segment included in the ICR as outlined below:

  • Production: List of production well operators.
  • Gathering and Boosting: List of parent companies expected to have gathering and boosting facilities.
  • Processing; Compression; Underground Storage; LNG: List of individual facilities within each sector.
  • Pipeline: List of State-level pipeline companies.

Currently, the Agency is requesting that companies register for the online database so that they can review their information and correct any potential errors.  US EPA acknowledges that some of the information may be outdated or inaccurate or that the individual who is listed as the company’s contact may not be the appropriate person to receive the ICR.

If you or your company are included in this database, you will be required to complete the information collection request so it would benefit you to verify the accuracy of the information.  Once the initial ICR is sent out, respondents will only have 30 days to complete the initial survey.

The EPA is specifically requesting that companies add any missing production well operators, parent companies of gathering and boosting facilities, and individual facilities or pipeline companies for the other industry segments into the mailing list.

Please note that even some individual domestic well owners are included on the US EPA’s list.

US EPA is currently seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for this ICR.  Once it is finalized, there will be two parts to the ICR.  Part 1 will collect corporate and operator-level contact information as well as counts for key equipment (e.g. wells, tanks, and compressors) at each facility owned or operated by that operator. Part 2 will collect detailed unit-specific information on emission sources at selected facilities as well as information on emission controls or management practices used to reduce emissions at the selected facilities.

The ICR seeks a broad range of information such as how equipment and emissions controls are, or can be, configured, and what installing those controls entails, including the associated costs. This information will help the agency determine how best to address methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, including through rulemaking to reduce emissions.

The agency is seeking information on numerous sources and activities, including natural gas venting that occurs as part of existing processes or maintenance activities, such as well and pipeline blowdowns, equipment malfunctions and flashing emissions from storage tanks. EPA also is seeking information on existing low-producing wells.

This website provides links to the revised ICR and other supporting documents.

OOGA is currently working with the Independent Petroleum Association of America to submit comments.  If members would like to comment on the revised ICR before OIRA, comments must be submitted by October 31, 2016. 

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EID Report: Sales Tax Revenues Grow 65 Percent in Utica Shale Counties

Posted By Guest Blog: Jackie Stewart, Energy In Depth Ohio, Monday, October 03, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Since Utica Shale development took off in 2011, companies have been investing a tremendous amount of capital in eastern Ohio. Billions of dollars have been spent developing well sites, creating much-needed infrastructure, standing up regional headquarters for service companies, and constructing hotel and restaurant chains. In addition, landowners and municipal governments have benefited from lease payments.

These investments across the board have resulted in an uptick in sales activity, and therefore have created a surge in sales tax revenues. According to data obtained from Ohio Department of Taxation’s sales tax distribution website, EID research shows that over the past five years shale counties have realized a 65 percent boost, thanks in large part to the investments made by the oil and gas industry.

During the same time frame, the counties without shale development realized a 37 percent increase in their sales tax revenues. In other words, shale counties had nearly twice the boost that non-shale counties had, underscoring the importance of oil and gas development to these revenues.



EID analyzed the Ohio sales tax distributions in shale counties over the time horizon of FY2011-FY2015, as this is the most up-to-date data available.

We analyzed each year-over-year percentage change during that time period for the selected shale counties as compared to the rest of the counties’ allocations to determine if there was a relationship between oil and natural gas activities and growth rates in sales tax revenues in the identified shale counties.

We identified shale counties, as the shale counties which have experienced the most oil and natural gas activity as it relates to production of wells and related services. For this research, we included Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, and Noble counties. It is important to note that several other counties have also experienced oil and gas activities, such as Mahoning, Trumbull, and Washington counties. However, these eight counties have been the core of the development in Ohio.

Top Level Findings

Our research shows a direct correlation between activity from oil and gas investment and sales tax revenues. Shale counties realized a 65 percent boost over five years, as compared with the overall state counties which realized a 37 percent increase over the same period of time. In fact, even last year, when pundits were quick to call the Utica shale exploration a so-called “bust”, shale counties still outperformed the statewide year-over-year percentage change, demonstrating that oil and natural gas investment has had a lasting positive impact on the communities where it occurred.

As EID previously reported, the sales tax allocation that the state pays to each county is only a small fraction of the overall sales tax actually paid by consumers. In fact, the state of Ohio keeps the majority of sales tax revenues for their general fund. Here’s how that works: a business in Carroll County pays 6.75 percent in sales tax revenue so a $100.00 sale requires $6.75 in sales tax. The business sends that $6.75 to the state of Ohio and the state takes $5.75 and returns $1.00 to the county where the business is operating. The reason this is important to note is that a 65 percent boost in sales tax to Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, and Noble counties, is in fact a boost to the entire state, because the state of Ohio keeps the vast majority of the tax collected; only a small fraction is returned to the counties.

In short, thanks to shale, Ohio’s statewide coffers have grown by millions.

County Breakdowns


Looking closer at the data, it was evident how oil and gas activity is directly correlated with higher revenues, giving a hand-up to some of the hardest hit counties in Ohio. Take a look at Monroe County, for example, where sales tax revenues jumped over 320 percent over the past five years. That’s because Monroe County has some of the best production Utica shale wells in the state. Harrison County, where MarkWest has stood up a corporate office and invested over $2.5 billion to date in Ohio, and is employing local residents in the community, also saw a 252 percent boost.

It’s not just drilling activities driving the economy; it’s the ripple impact from the industry that has inspired confidence into these areas. Communities like St. Clairsville, Ohio, where hotels, Starbucks, retail centers, and more have come right along with the staggering well production from Utica shale wells.

To put this into perspective, if the entire state of Ohio realized the same growth rate in sales tax revenues of these nine shale counties, Ohio would have experienced over a billion dollars in sales tax revenues going directly to the counties. The state of Ohio would have realized over $6 billion in additional taxes to the state’s coffers, over the past five years.

So, to echo a new report released from the US Chamber of Commerce entitled “What if America’s Energy Renaissance Never Actually Happened?”— if the American energy renaissance never actually happened over the past five years, these nine counties in eastern Ohio would have not realized the millions in tax receipts they have experienced and the state would have missed out on millions more.

As Rep. Johnson, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recently stated,

“The bottom line is this: The energy renaissance that has happened in the Marcellus and the Utica shale—that is what has brought Ohio back, in my opinion. “

EID’s new report underscores (yet again) that the Keep It in the Ground activists are completely out of touch with the people who live and work in Ohio. We challenge these groups to debate our findings and try to contest the obvious positive correlation between investment from shale and sales tax revenues that benefits both the entire state, as well as the counties directly.

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Member Spotlight: Charlotte M. Pierce, Mason Producing Inc.

Posted By Lyndsey Kleven, Communications Coordinator, Monday, September 26, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The member spotlight series features legacy OOGA members who have been a member of the Association for at least 10 years. If you would like to recommend someone to be highlighted, please contact Lyndsey Kleven at


Background information:


Charlotte Mason Pierce grew up in the oil and gas industry and is the third generation of her family working in the business. Her father John Mason started out in the business as a contract driller, later working himself up to being a producer and having his own wells. The first job he landed was working for Henry Lightner (Charlotte’s grandfather), fellow oilman, welder and machinist. John later married Lightner’s daughter and ran a family-owned business with Henry. Additionally John had uncles that were in the business around Fairfield and Logan Ohio.


Raised in Killbuck Ohio, the area known for good Clinton wells, Charlotte’s father started in the business as a contract driller under Mason Drilling Inc. After establishing himself in the field and building up business he was able to acquire his own wells and production as Mason Producing Inc. Charlotte was brought up around other oilfield kids, many whom are also actively involved with the Association. Charlotte reflected on the experiences of her father working in the oilfields.


“My childhood memories are going to the rig after dinner with my dad, to run some night tower work. I would sit on the lazy bench in front of the stove and watch them for a couple hours—watching him and the other guys dress bits. I have some very strong memories of watching my dad and the men work on the cable tool rigs.”


Being female, her involvement was limited to helping her dad roll pipe and gauge tanks. Charlotte was always asking questions and learned quite a bit about the industry growing up. 


Feeling rejected to entering a career in the oilfields as a female, Charlotte attended Ohio University in search of a different professional route. Charlotte took an alternate career path for nearly two decades before returning back to the industry in 1987. As her father was nearing retirement age he wanted Charlotte to take over the administrative side of the family business. Charlotte had invested in some wells giving her a stake in the family business and she decided to come work in the industry.


It was during this time people were starting to poke around at the Rose Run. John Mason was not optimistic for this possibility, especially after the first test hole he completed and the seismic run. Charlotte and her brother were encouraging him to keep testing this—eventually they found success, leading them to drill many more Rose Run wells. This lead to even bigger things, like the join venture work with Columbia Natural Resources, the Oxford Oil Company and Jerry Moore Inc. among others.


Work History Overview:


Charlotte credits her father for being a good mentor about the industry. Being involved with the small family business provided her a multifaceted education of how the industry worked. She was able to gain the knowledge to know when and what areas of the business need to be taken care of, in order to keep the company running well. Her experiences throughout childhood and coming back into the business gave her an over arching perspective, not just niching her in one trade.


“It has been an exciting career and a rewarding one,” described Charlotte. “My education for the industry is a unique one, which I learned and earned the hard way, attending seminar after seminar.”


Much of it has been trial and error, but the fundamentals her father laid, have helped her to be successful. Charlotte has gained knowledge by attending geology seminars, learning landwork through her experiences drilling in the Rose Run, learning how to get leases, run titles. This all brought more experience, and the distribution became the next step, Charlotte started marketing her own gas and has successfully marketed it on the Columbia system since the early 1990s.


Initially Mason Producing started in the Clinton and shifted focused to the Rose Run in the late 1980s. Today they operate 120 wells, the majority are Stripper wells and 45 of which are still producing Rose Run. The longevity of their production was surprising as some are currently a decade over surpassing the predicted lifespan, which has been a nice run. In 2002 Charlotte took ownership of the company that she runs with one other employee, with the rest being contracted out.


Over the years Charlotte has seen the different industry cycles spanning her father’s career and now hers. Her father instilled great values on how to ride the cycles. One thing she stressed learning was the importance of spending money to take care of wells when the prices are good, to save yourself in situation where the prices are low. Being a small company, the cycle’s impacts can hit a little harder than they do on investor rich corporations.


Women in Oil and Gas:


Seeing her father work and getting to experience the oilfields as a child provided Charlotte a unique exposure to the industry that most females would never have. While always having an interest in the work, when she became old enough to forge her own career path Charlotte diverged from the oil and gas industry—and not necessarily by choice. She described the challenges of being a female in a male dominated industry and the evolution she has experienced over the years. During this time 1987 there was still a large stigma that the oil and gas industry was a man’s world and women were not to cross the threshold and work in this industry—and if they did, they were looked at as, “what are you thinking?”


As she has seen, when her father worked in the industry it consisted of mostly fieldwork with a minimal amount of administrative work. The central aspect of the business was the service side that was predominately a man’s role, solely for the fact of their physical stature for doing the work. Charlotte reflected on an instance of watching her father dress bits with a sledgehammer and concluded that the majority of women would never have the upper body strength do this type of work. While the opportunity to work in the industry may exist, it is not appropriate for everyone.


As the industry has progressed over the years, the administrative aspect has increased twofold and opened up more opportunities for woman to get involved. Charlotte attributed this to the regulatory structure and facets of getting the product to market that did not exist 30 years ago. She sees that today there are a lot more areas where woman can now be part of the team. They do not have to turn the wrench—some of them can though—but they sure can do anything else.


This has been a positive for the industry and a noticeable change, as women are becoming more prevalent attending seminars, conferences and being engaged in the industry. Charlotte gave kudos to the women that came into the industry in the last 10-15 years and withstood the perception put upon them by some. She feels that today women are starting to be justified for working in the industry and getting some respect for their efforts in the business. What has carried Charlotte through over the years has been her passion for the business and that she really enjoys her work and her involvement.


History with the OOGA:


Charlotte joined the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) in 1987 right as she began working in the industry. One of the first committees she sat on was the legislative committee with Tom Stewart. Charlotte spoke praises of Tom being an advocate of support and encourager of her becoming involved in the business.

John Mason and Henry Lightner and were both inducted in the OOGA Hall of Fame in 1994 and 1998 respectively for their outstanding contributions to the oil and gas industry in the state of Ohio. Her father’s involvement in the business helped her to navigate the industry and build relationships within the Association. Her father was also president of the Association during 1997-1998 and once her father resigned the presidency of OOGA, she slid into many roles he was holding and held strong there. In the early 2000s she became a Board of Trustee member and was later given the responsibility of chairing the Ohio Oil and Gas Producers Underground Protection Service (OGPUPS).

“If we didn’t have an Association I hate to think regulatory wise where we would be,” said Charlotte “That’s the whole point of banning together and has always been the point of banning together to educate and promote our industry to people that hold public office.”

Charlotte enjoys being part of the OOGA community. She also feels the educational push through the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) has been a tremendous thing in the school and that pushing natural science is so important.

In addition to her contributions within the OOGA, Charlotte has been actively involved with other industry organizations. She was a founding board member for Gatherco in 1997 and served as secretary until 2010, remaining on the board until it was sold last year. She was also appointed by Governor George Voinovich 1998 to serve as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) advising ODNR, holding consecutive appointments until 2008. Other groups she is a member of are Michael Late Benedem Chapter of the American Association of Professional Landmen and the Eastern Mineral Law Foundation.

Evolution of the Industry/ Horizontal Drilling perspective:


The greatest transformation Charlotte has seen in her time in the industry is the change in technology. Technology has evolved and is always going to evolve and change, and the amounts of gas being excavated now from just a few years ago would have been unbelievable.


She also feels the oil and gas environment she grew up in and came to know throughout her career will be entirely different going forward. Seeing the change and movement into the 21st century there is a much larger and growing population on earth to take care of, and in order to take care of them in a more efficient way we need these larger operators and shale drilling. The amount of resources we will need going forward is no longer something that’s within grasp of the smaller operators.


Charlotte has always been a strong advocate of yin and yang, especially in a political sense. Having republicans and democrats, pro-drilling people and anti-drilling, aids in keeping the industry honest and in constant pursuit of trying to better itself. The anti-drilling advocates have worked to create our strong regulatory environment, but at the same time many do not realize the implications of what the oi