Fortuna Energy Inc.

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Fortuna Energy Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Talisman Energy Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Since its inception in 2002 it has acquired vast holdings of Trenton-Black River (TBR) drilling rights in the States of New York and Pennsylvania from several other energy companies. The company has dozens of successful TBR wells in New York State and is now the State's largest natural gas producer. An October, 2009 report numbered Fortuna's producing TBR wells at 75.

Fortuna Energy Headquarters - Airport Corporate Park, Big Flats (Horseheads), NY
Photo courtesy of: WENY - Channel 36

In September, 2008, the Horseheads, New York-based Fortuna Energy was reported having won two leases in competitive bidding for tracts in the State of Pennsylvania's forest lands in Tioga and Lycoming Counties. Eighteen tracts were offered for bid.

A late September report indicated Fortuna was drilling near Elmira, N.Y.

An October, 2008 report found the company having recorded 100 leases in Bradford County, Pennsylvania during 2008.

A report later in October stated that Fortuna owns roughly 1 million acres of drilling rights in the Southern Tier of New York and in Pennsylvania. Some of their leases expire in 2009. One of the company's challenges will be to form units large enough to drill on out of what is left after these expirations.

In December, 2008 a news report appeared in which it was mentioned that Fortuna was using a dry well in Van Etten, NY, located approximately thirty-five miles west of Binghamton, for storage of drilling brines. It was stated that the brines were from a 9,000 foot Trenton-Black River well in the area.

In February, 2009 it was reported that Fortuna is very actively drilling in Western Bradford County, PA.

In April, 2009 Fortuna announced that it is opting out of lease extensions in Tioga County, New York. This county is roughly half way on a straight line drawn between Elmira and Binghamton in New York State's Southern Tier. The company cited the poor economy as well as an uncertain state regulatory environment as reasons for the action. Property owners were given the opportunity to continue on with Fortuna, but receive retroactive lease payments only if and when the company takes the leases back up. Otherwise they were to be canceled. All of the leases involved were intended for Marcellus shale development.

A May, 2009 report had a much more upbeat-sounding outlook than the previous paragraph, stating that Marcellus drilling activities were increasing in both Pennsylvania counties of Tioga and Bradford. Fortuna planned to have up to 50 horizontal Marcellus wells drilled in the two counties by the end of 2009. A gathering pipeline system was also being built for the newly drilled wells. It was mentioned that the company was having some difficulties in finding sufficient hotel rooms and lodging for all its new personnel being brought into the area.

A second May, 2009 report indicated at least seven Fortuna wells having been drilled in western Bradford County.

A late June, 2009 report stated that Fortuna had 8 producing wells in Tioga County, PA and permits for an additional 49. One potential drilling location mentioned was Bloss and Ward Townships both located roughly 40 miles north of Williamsport, PA. The company planned to greatly expand its workforce in the county over a period of 5 years.

A second late June report seemed to confirm the above item in that 15 or 16 wells were mentioned as having been in south-western Bradford and Tioga counties and 11 or 12 had already been fraced. The company budgeted $200 million in Bradford and Tioga counties for 2009.

A company spokesman stated in August, 2009 that Fortuna had been producing 40 Mmcf/d in Bradford and Tioga counties.

September, 2009 found Fortuna striking a deal with the The Friendsville Group consisting of 600 landholders in Susquehanna and Bradford counties, Pennsylvania and the New York county of Broome. The company was to pay $5,500/acres on a five year lease with right to extend the lease for an additional three years. Royalties were to be 20% on production. The total deal amounted to $165 million for drilling rights to 30,000 acres in the three counties. C. Warren Trainor, a Philadelphia attorney, represented The Friendsville Group in the negotiation. Updeate, September 17, 2009: Despite The Friendsville Group having accepted Fortuna's offer, Chesapeake Energy made a counter-offer amounting to $5,750/acre, 20% royalty and only a 5 year lease with no right to extend for another three years. A Fortuna spokesperson indicated that despite the counter-offer, the company remained confident that it would still be able the to lease their minimum contingency acreage for the deal to go through which was 20,000 acres. Apparently, members of the group are at liberty to lease to whomever they choose.

An October, 2009 report indicated some of the 88 jobs at Fortuna's headquarters in Big Flats, NY were to be transferred to a new office being set up in Pittsburgh, PA by Fortuna's parent company, Talisman Energy. Talisman's new Pittsburgh office was to manage Talisman's interests in the Marcellus shale formation and be known as Talisman USA.

  • James O’Driscoll is Fortuna's President.
  • Mark Scheuerman is the company's Manager of Media and Legal Affairs.
  • Rick Kessy is Manager of Operations and Engineering.
  • Janice Lobdell is Supervisor for Community Relations.
  • Tom Cassetta is a Fortuna engineer.
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