Mouse Over to Stop Rotation & Read Ad

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Belmont County Cracker Plant Moves Closer to Becoming a Reality

Promises of a date for a final decision from PTT Global Chemical on whether it will build a proposed ethane cracker plant in Belmont County have fallen by the wayside in the past, but as time passes it seems any new news that crops up about the plant continues to indicate that it is more likely to be built.  Now a couple of new articles add to that possibility, including a report that Bechtel has been awarded a contract for construction on the plant and another that says a grant has been provided to improve rail services in connection with the project.

We Have Confirmation! PTTGC Selected Bechtel. It’s not a RUMOR! I have heard from two individuals this week that confirms that Bechtel has been awarded the contract. The first person said that he heard from a CM at Bechtel they have been selected for the PTT project and are working through the contract currently. 
The second person informed me that Bechtel was making big equipment orders that were not related to the Shell cracker plant.
And from The Intelligencer:
The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding $16 million in grant funds to improve 30 miles of existing railroad tracks in Belmont County.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, said he believes the funding and the rail project could help to advance development of a proposed PTT Global Chemical America-Daelim ethane cracker plant in the Dilles Bottom area of Belmont County. 
He released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a grant award for the Ohio Rail Development Commission: “This is great news for our region, which is entering a new chapter for economic development, and very positive news for the proposed PTTGCA-Daelim ethane cracker. … Improving safety and capacity of the rail line will directly support job growth and private investment along the Ohio River, which is very welcome news for a region that too often is at the back of the line when it comes to federal spending. I was glad to lead an Ohio delegation letter to (USDOT) Secretary (Elaine) Chao to support this vital $16 million project.” 
PTT spokesman Dan Williamson agreed that the grant represents great news for Belmont County and said it would be good news for PTT as well, if the cracker project moves forward. 
Johnson, though, is optimistic about the grant’s impact on the companies’ future decision about whether to build the cracker plant.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Previous Concerns of Utica Gas Bottleneck Have Given Way to Concerns Over Too Much Capacity

From Platts:
Natural gas pipeline takeaway capacity additions in the US Northeast production area have yet to spur the level of further output the market was expecting, making it difficult to fill the infrastructure during certain periods, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics. 
The perspective, offered during the first day of the LDC Gas Forum Northeast conference in Boston, comes as industry leaders analyze Appalachian Basin supply, demand and pricing fundamentals heading into the next decade. 
At issue is whether easing pipeline constraints are only temporary and the extent to which LNG export growth will encourage Marcellus and Utica shale producers to drill more. 
"New production is not there to fill these projects, and this is only going to get worse," Luke Jackson, a Platts Analytics senior energy analyst, told attendees at the conference. "On the surface, you'd say the Northeast is evolving. I would argue, 'Not so fast.'"
Click here to continue reading.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Company's Request to Change to Class I Injection Well Meets with Opposition

From The Columbus Dispatch:
A company operating injection wells in Coshocton County has asked regulators to allow a change in its permitting to accept industrial and other nonhazardous waste fluids instead of just oilfield brine. 
If Buckeye Brine is successful, it would mark the first time an Ohio Class II injection well was switched to a Class I. 
Operators say they’ve been pumping oilfield fluids into rock formations deep underground for several years without incident, that the facility was built to exceed injection-well standards and that the permitting change would provide an environmentally friendly alternative for disposing of nonhazardous waste fluids. 
“We’ve operated flawlessly for five years,” said Steve Mobley, company president. “We’re experienced at this business and we’re doing a good thing for the surface waters of the state and making industrial businesses better able to operate affordably.” 
But a local environmental group opposes the move, citing continued concerns about toxic fluids being pumped into the ground. Coshocton Environmental and Community Awareness, or CECA (, and its supporters are posting “No Class I Injection Wells” signs along some roads in the vicinity and urging regulators to reject the application. A billboard with the message is planned along Route 16.
You can read the rest by clicking here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Analysts and Geologists Both See More Cracker Plants Coming to Region

From The Daily Jeff:
A remarkable event, a “world changing event,” took place six months ago: Natural gas production in portions of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — an area dubbed the “Shale Crescent” — totaled 831 billion cubic feet, said David Hill, a local petroleum geologist. 
That exceeded the total production in Texas, which tallied to 703 billion cubic feet.
This region had reclaimed the record. 
“The last time that happened was about 100 years ago,” Hill said. “So, it’s no wonder that conventional wisdom thinks all of the natural gas is in the Gulf Coast region and that we’re kind of an afterthought up in the Northeast. 
“We’re now bigger than Texas in natural gas production.” 
So, why is that important? Why is it “world-changing?” 
There are various reasons, but for the average citizen of Guernsey County and, indeed, the entire Shale Crescent region, it comes down to one word: Jobs. 
That was the implication of Hill’s remarks when he spoke Thursday morning during a “Coffee and Commerce” meeting at the Southgate Hotel. Those monthly meetings, which began seven years ago, are hosted by the Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce.
Click here to read the article.

And then there's this, from the Pittsburgh Business Times:
A chemical industry expert believes Shell Chemical’s plant under construction in Beaver County could be joined by announcements about three others in the tri-state region over the next year or so. 
The ethane crackers, which produce the building blocks of many consumer plastics, are considered key to a large petrochemical industry in Appalachia fueled by the region’s natural gas industry and the chemicals, like ethane, that are byproducts. A handful of studies have shown Appalachia’s ethane supply could support up to five ethane crackers, but companies beyond Shell have been reluctant to make the $6 billion to $10 billion commitment yet. 
Tom Gellrich, principal of Top Line Analytics, believes that’s changing. He’s optimistic that the two other potential crackers, PTT Global Chemical in Belmont County, Ohio, and another that had been considered by Braskem near Parkersburg, W.Va., will in fact get the final investment decisions in the next year. He’s looking beyond that to the next company to step up to the Appalachian cracker plate. 
“I don’t think the next announcement is more than a year away,” Gellrich said. 
Gellrich, who has worked in the chemical industry for decades, believes the as-yet-unnamed company is going to be forced to make a move in Appalachia for competitive reasons.
Read that whole story by clicking here. 

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

EV Energy Partners Dubs Itself Harvest Oil & Gas Corp. as It Rises from Ashes of Bankruptcy

From a press release:
EV Energy Partners, L.P. today announced that it has successfully completed its financial restructuring and has emerged from Chapter 11 as a new corporation under the name Harvest Oil & Gas Corp. (“Harvest” or the “Company”).

Through the restructuring, Harvest has eliminated approximately $355 million of debt and accrued interest from its balance sheet and significantly enhanced its financial flexibility. At its emergence, the Company entered into an amended and restated credit facility providing for a new reserve-based revolving loan. The initial borrowing base under the credit facility is $325 million, with the first scheduled redetermination of the borrowing base in April 2019. Also, with total debt outstanding of $297 million, and cash on hand of approximately $21 million, total liquidity will be approximately $46 million.

Michael E. Mercer, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented that, “Today begins an important new chapter for our Company. With significantly less debt, we have ample liquidity and expect to generate free cash flow in excess of our planned capital requirements. We are confident that our diverse asset base will serve as a foundation for our future success.” 
Effective today, the Company’s Board of Directors are comprised of management and direct or appointed representatives of the Company’s largest shareholders, whose biographies are included in our current report on Form 8-K filed on June 4, 2018. The new directors are Michael E. Mercer, James F. Murchison, Colby Dunn, Steven J. Pully and Patrick Hickey.
Click here to view the entire release.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

No Injuries in West Virginia Pipeline Explosion

From Reuters:
TransCanada Corp said it has isolated the section of Columbia Gas Transmission pipe that exploded early Thursday in Moundsville, West Virginia. 
There were no employees at the site at the time of the blast around 4:15 a.m. EDT (0815 GMT) and no homes were in danger, officials from the Roberts Ridge Volunteer Fire Department told local news media. 
The company said in a statement that its first priority was to protect the public and the environment. 
Moundsville is located in Marshall County on the West Virginia panhandle on the Ohio-West Virginia border in the heart of the giant Marcellus and Utica natural gas shale formations.

TransCanada said the incident could impact about 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas service, according to a notice to customers using the pipeline. 
One billion cubic feet is enough gas for about five million U.S. homes.
Click here to continue reading the article.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Rig Count Holds Steady as Utica Shale Permitting Remains Glacial

New permits issued last week: 2  (Previous week: 3-1
Total horizontal permits issued: 2837  (Previous week: 2835+2
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2358 (Previous week: 2358+-0
Total horizontal wells producing: 1899 (Previous week: 1901-2
Utica rig count: 19 (Previous week: 19)  +-0

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Anti-Fracking Kucinich Begs for Money After 40-Point Ohio Gubernatorial Primary Loss

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth

Following a landslide defeat in the recent primary election, failed Ohio gubernatorial candidate and anti-fracking activist Dennis Kucinich made embarrassing headlines again this week. This time Kucinich was caught begging for cash to help cover expenses from his over-extended campaign to stop shale development in the Buckeye State.
As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, “Normally when a campaign ends, the candidate stops asking for money. That’s not the case with Dennis Kucinich.” No, not at all. Kucinich was recently caught begging for tens of thousands to cover campaign expenditures.
Recall that Kucinich launched his bid for governor largely on a campaign platform that called for a fracking ban and stopping oil and gas development in its tracks. He even campaigned up and down the Ohio River with an outrageous “”Environmental Devastation Tour” that prompted a barrage of backlash from people who actually live and work in eastern Ohio, similar to the comment below:
For months Kucinich spread patently false claims about fracking all across Ohio, using fearmongering tactics in an effort to justify his promise to end shale development. That promise led him to a near 40-point loss at the ballot box in Ohio’s May 8 Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Along the way, Kucinich outspent his campaign coffers and is now begging supporters for cash. In a fundraising pitch to supporters he wrote,
“Now that the campaign has concluded and all the bills are in, we have an urgent need to cover about $38,000 in late expenses for printing, postage, media and contractual services. May we once again call upon your generosity for assistance in retiring our debt? Please help if you can.”
Kucinich also used his recent cry for cash as an opportunity to allege his 40-point loss was a result of the “failed political process.” And he’s not the only sore loser this month. Interestingly enough, after Kucinich campaigned in Youngstown to help bolster the so-called Community Bill of Rights initiative aimed at banning fracking in that community, both his personal bid for governor and the Community Bill of Rights went down in flames: Kucinich received a miniscule 6.5 percent of the vote in Mahoning County and Youngstown voters also rejected the Community Bill of Rights by 12 percentage points.
Source: WFMJ
Not surprisingly, and just like sore loser Kucinich, the Youngstown anti-fracking group behind the Community Bill of Rights have continued to cry foul after their losses at the ballot box year-after-year. In an effort to get ahead of the curve, the Mahoning County Democratic Chairman, David Betras — who is also the vice chairman of the board of elections — quickly shot down a challenge of a recount, as the Youngstown Vindicator reported this week that “recounts didn’t change the outcomes of four races in Mahoning County.” Betras also took a moment to underscore his frustration with their campaigns stating,
“The frackoholics were working my neighborhood hard against me. A win is a win is a win.”
It appears Betras, like everyone in Youngstown, is sick and tired of these antics and feel the matter is settled once and for all. Voters in Youngstown, and Ohio as a whole, have clearly and loudly rejected anti-fracking campaigns, period, end of story.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Follow by Email