Monday, June 24, 2019

Ascent Resources is Loving Life in the Utica Shale

From Kallanish Energy:
Like comedian Rodney Dangerfield, the Utica Shale gets no respect, and that’s wrong because the Utica is “really a phenomenal reservoir,” according to Jeff A. Fisher, CEO of Ascent Resources. 
The Utica play, primarily in eastern Ohio, is “still a bit misunderstood” and often overlooked, Fisher told an audience of roughly 600 Wednesday at Hart Energy’s 11th annual DUG East Conference and Exhibition in this Pennsylvania city. Kallanish Energy was in attendance. 
“This play really shines. The rock really performs,” he said. 
Defending the Utica’s ‘robustness’ 
There is no champion speaking out in defense of the Utica Shale and that’s unfortunate, he said before proceeding to defend the Utica and what he called its “robustness.” 
It produces dry natural gas, wet natural gas, natural gas liquids and condensate, depending on where in the Utica Shale you are drilling, Fisher said. His company has drilled 400 Utica wells and is the eighth-largest natural gas producer in the U.S.
Continue reading by clicking here. 

Bechtel Makes Public Statement Confirming Selection as Cracker Plant Project Manager

From the Pittsburgh Business Times:
Bechtel, the project manager for the massive Shell Chemicals plant under construction in Beaver County, is going to be the project manager for a similar project in Ohio if it is built. 
The news was confirmed Thursday in a presentation at the Northeast Petrochemical Exhibition and Conference by Paul Marsden, SVP of Bechtel'sunit in Pennsylvania. Bechtel is working along with Samsung on the project, Marsden said. But, he said, it depends on PTT Global Chemicals making a final investment decision on the project that has been expected for years. 
The Thai-based PTT Global Chemicals has been in the initial stages of a petrochemical plant on the banks of the Ohio River, about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh, in Belmont County, Ohio. PTT has been working on the project for years, and enlisted another company, South Korea-based Daelin, to help. But no final investment decision has been made. A spokesman for PTT in Ohio wasn't immediately available for comment. 
Bechtel had been rumored to be in the mix for general contractor for the project, as it is for the multibilliondollar Shell plant. The general contractor works with dozens of subcontractors and thousands of employees to make sure that everything goes as designed and planned. The agreement between Bechtel and PTT Global Chemical was reached earlier this year, Marsden said.
Read more by clicking here. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Congressman Bill Johnson Again Expresses Optimism Towards Belmont County Cracker Plant Being Built

From The Times Leader:
It was a full house at the JobsOhio’s public board meeting on Monday afternoon at the Ohio Mine Safety Training Center in Harrison County.

JobsOhio is a private nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction and retention and expansion efforts. Numerous elected officials, department heads and seven of the nine JobsOhio board members were present at the meeting. 
Bob Smith, chairman of the board, began the meeting and thanked all who were in attendance. He then introduced Congressman Bill Johnson. 
Johnson, R-Ohio, discussed the actions of President Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War in reference to Ohio’s leadership skills. 
“So you’ve got the secretary of treasury, the commander in chief of the Army, and the two most prolific fighter generals that Lincoln could find, all from Ohio. You think about where we might have been, as a nation, if Lincoln had not surrounded himself with that group of Ohio leadership … ,” Johnson said. “The partnership that exists between APEG and JobsOhio, I can’t think of another state that is doing it the way we’re doing it here in Ohio and it is paying big big dividends.” 
Since January 2011 through this year, more than $70 billion of investment has come in to this region, he said. He added that 32 percent of the nation’s natural gas demand comes from this region and by 2050 it is estimated to be as much as 50 percent. 
“There is such a wealth of resources right here in our region. … I think there’s a lot of reasons to be optimistic about where we are, pride in where we’ve come from, and a lot of excitement about where we’re going,” he said. 
He said proposed the PTT Global Chemical-Dealim ethane cracker plant is in the final financing phase and that the developers have invested around $70 million in pre-construction and site preparation work. 
“Companies don’t put that kind of money into a no-go operation, folks. I’m telling you that we’re heading in the right direction,” he said.
Click here to read more. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Utica Rig Count Down for the Second Straight Week

New permits issued last week: 7 (Previous week: 11)  -4
Total horizontal permits issued: 3113 (Previous week: 3106 +7
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2626 (Previous week: 2613)  +13
Total horizontal wells producing: 2222 (Previous week: 2222)  +-0
Utica rig count: 18 (Previous week: 19)  -1

Friday, June 14, 2019

Risberg Pipeline Construction Enters Ohio

From the Star Beacon:
Construction on the Risberg natural gas pipeline has started in Ohio, near the state line. 
Pipe segments lined an area of clear ground south of Interstate 90 Wednesday, marking the path of the Risberg Pipeline. Construction started at the end of another pipeline in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and work has now entered Ohio, as the $86 million pipeline is getting closer and closer to it's end-point in North Kingsville. 
The pipeline includes 16 miles of new pipeline in Pennsylvania and 12 miles of new pipeline in Ohio.

"I don't think it's possible to overstate the need (for natural gas)," Conneaut City Manager Jim Hockaday said. 
Growth Partnership Executive Director Greg Myers has said in the past that the county has lost out on investment and job opportunities because of lack of access to natural gas. 
Work on the project started in March, with crews clearing land along the pipeline's path. At the time, the project was expected to finish in early summer, with some help from the weather.
Click here to keep on reading. 

President Trump Targeting Appalachian Basin for Energy Development

From the Washington Examiner:
The Trump administration’s battle for new energy infrastructure will center on Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania this summer, as members of the president’s cabinet work with state regulators to build the country’s first natural gas and petrochemical hub in Appalachia. 
Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told John that he and others from the Energy Department, Transportation Department and other agencies have been charged by the president to produce a plan to overcome the regulatory hurdles to get the project off the ground. 
Meetings in the three shale-producing states are ongoing, with Kentucky — not a natural gas producer — also part of the conversation. Kentucky is seen as a major part of the logistics chain that will be needed to convert Appalachia into a thriving center for petrochemicals and energy exports along the Ohio River. 
Assistant Secretary Mark Menezeswill be sitting down with Ohio regulators in the next few days to discuss the hurdles to building a major hub. Pipeline capacity would also need to be improved in the region.
Read on by clicking right here. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Utica Rig Count Drops Back Below 20 on Latest Report

WEEK ENDING 06/08/2019

New permits issued last week: 11 (Previous week: 4)  +7
Total horizontal permits issued: 3106 (Previous week: 3097 +9
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2613 (Previous week: 2608)  +5
Total horizontal wells producing: 2222 (Previous week: 2223)  -1
Utica rig count: 19 (Previous week: 21)  -2

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Anti-Fracking Researcher Quietly Admits: Studies Show No Harmful Pollutants Near Oil And Gas Sites

by Nicole Jacobs, Energy in Depth

The activist who wrote a 2012 memo encouraging anti-fracking groups to connect health problems and fracking even when no evidence existed to support the claims recently co-authored a report admitting that the vast majority of scientific research shows no harmful air pollutants near oil and natural gas sites. As the report explains,
“Air pollution near oil and gas production typically measures in concentrations within healthy air standards…”
Activist researcher and executive director of the openly anti-fracking Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSEHE) Seth Shonkoff and his co-authors analyzed 37 peer-reviewed journal articles on hazardous air pollutants from 2012 to 2018, finding:
“[M]easurements of hazardous air pollutant concentrations near operational sites have generally failed to capture levels above standard health benchmarks; yet, the majority of studies continue to find poor health outcomes increasing as distance from these operations decreases.” (emphasis added)
Notably, where they found research that did capture traces of emissions in ambient air, the research team also conceded that oil and natural gas [ONG] is not the only potential source for these emissions, if it’s actually even the source at all:
“Many of the peer-reviewed studies investigated a broad range of target analytes in ambient air, several of which are ubiquitous in the environment and are sourced not only in upstream ONG operations. … The abundance of formaldehyde detection in ambient collected samples may actually indicate secondary atmospheric formation as the dominant source and not primary emissions released directly from an ONG point source.” (emphasis added)
Shonkoff doesn’t let facts get in the way of his “Keep It In the Ground” agenda.
But the report wasn’t actually about admitting that oil and natural gas sites aren’t emitting harmful pollutants. Instead, Shonkoff’s team sought to explain the disparity between epidemiological studies that claim proximity to well sites increases health risks – the same types of studies that Shonkoff encouraged in his 2012 memo – and this large volume of research that shows the lack of emissions to make those claims stick.
From the report:
“Despite findings of a spatial dimension of health data near upstream ONG development, measured pollutant concentrations, including concentrations of HAPs, were generally below health-based standards. It is unclear why ambient air samples have failed to capture concentrations above health benchmarks while the majority of epidemiological studies continue to find incidence of poor health outcomes increasing as distance from these operations decreases.”
Despite admitting that “it is unclear why ambient samples have failed to capture concentrations above health-based standards,” Shonkoff and his co-authors claim that “methodological shortcomings” in the emissions studies are at fault for these disparities between the studies. This finding is unsurprising given that Shonkoff emphasized in his 2012 memo that epidemiological health studies labeling oil and natural gas as a threat are “crucial to the engagement in litigious battles, to drive regulation, and to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for their actions.”
The likely motivation for such a report stems from a 2017 decision by the Mount Pleasant Zoning Board in Pennsylvania that rejected Shonkoff as an expert witness after finding his testimony that fracking is harmful to public health “to be equivocal, not properly founded, and not credible.” The ruling was based on the grounds that, among other things, he ignored numerous air emissions studies that found no elevated risks in his testimony.
And while Shonkoff will now be armed with the ability to cite himself should a similar line of questioning arise when he’s giving future presentations or testifying, it doesn’t change the fact that the epidemiological research Shonkoff misleadingly touts does not align with air quality studies of oil and natural gas well sites. But at least “Keep It In the Ground” activists now have to admit that to be the case.