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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

New Study: U.S. Shale Boom Has Lowered Trade Deficit by Over $250 Billion

From a press release:
The boom in U.S. oil and gas production over the past decade has exerted a moderating force on what is a large domestic merchandise trade deficit by helping reduce the country’s net petroleum imports, a new report by business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) says. Continued U.S. production growth is now on track to make the country a net-exporter of petroleum for the first time since at least 1949. 
The total U.S. merchandise trade deficit in 2017 was nearly $250 billion lower than it otherwise would have been if the petroleum (crude oil, refined products and natural gas liquids – petroleum liquids separated out from natural gas and also known as NGLs) trade deficit had remained at its 2007 level, the report finds. IHS Markit projects that the U.S. petroleum trade balance will further improve by roughly $50 billion between 2017 and 2022. 
The findings are part of a new report entitled Trading Places: How the Shale Revolution Has Helped Keep the U.S. Trade Deficit in Check. The report examines the impact of rising U.S. oil, natural gas and chemicals production on the domestic trade merchandise balance and how the U.S. position in energy and chemicals may evolve in coming years.
Click here to read the rest of the release.

Click here to read more and fill out a form to download a copy of the report.

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Permitting Picks Up in Utica Shale



New permits issued last week: 13 (Previous week: 7)  +6
Total horizontal permits issued: 2948 (Previous week: 2935)  +13
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2467 (Previous week: 2462)  +5
Total horizontal wells producing: 2088 (Previous week: 2088)  +-0
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 18)  -1

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December 2018 Shale Activity Maps Released by ODNR






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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ohio EPA Requests Early Stakeholder Input for Potential Oil and Gas Rules

Ohio EPA is requesting early stakeholder input until Dec. 19, 2018, on potential rules that would cover air pollution emissions from existing non-conventional oil and gas facilities that are not currently covered by Ohio EPA’s most recent general permit.
The rules would cover similar equipment and requirements that are currently covered in U.S. EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas sector, as well as Ohio EPA’s oil and gas general permits. The rules would cover both existing and new sources like oil and gas well sites and gas compressor stations.
This early stakeholder outreach provides stakeholders with an opportunity to provide their comments and suggestions before the Agency drafts the language of the rules. After the Agency has addressed comments received during this outreach, it will draft proposed rule language and hold an interested party comment period to solicit comments on the rule language before continuing through the rest of the rule promulgation steps. 
Information on the early stakeholder outreach for these rules can be found online at epa.ohio.gov/Portals/27/regs/3745-31/ESO_NewOilandGasRules_2018.pdf. Comments should be sent by the close of business on Dec. 19 to Mike Hopkins, Ohio EPA Division of Air Pollution Control, PO Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049, or by email to mike.hopkins@epa.ohio.gov.

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EQT Reaches Settlement in Class Action Suit Related to Royalties Scheme

From the Charleston Gazette Mail:
The trial of a major lawsuit alleging that energy giant EQT Corp. has been shortchanging thousands of West Virginians on their royalty payments won’t start Tuesday as planned, following the tentative settlement of the case late last week.

Details of the deal have not yet been made public.

Marvin Masters, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, said “the parties have tentatively resolved the case,” pending settlement details being worked out.

A spokeswoman for the court confirmed the settlement, and said the trial was canceled.

Linda Robertson, spokeswoman for EQT, declined to comment on the settlement, citing “pending litigation.”

More than 10,000 individuals and businesses in West Virginia are estimated to be members of the class of plaintiffs. They allege that EQT, the state’s second-largest gas producer, was illegally deducting various costs — such as for transporting and processing gas — from their royalty payments.
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ETP's Sloppiness on Rover and Mariner East 2 Pipeline Led to Over 800 Permit Violations

From Reuters:
Energy Transfer LP (ET.N) and its Sunoco pipeline subsidiary have racked up more than 800 state and federal permit violations while racing to build two of the nation’s largest natural gas pipelines, according to a Reuters analysis of government data and regulatory records. 
The pipelines, known as Energy Transfer Rover and Sunoco Mariner East 2, will carry natural gas and gas liquids from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, an area that now accounts for more than a third of U.S. gas production. 
Reuters analyzed four comparable pipeline projects and found they averaged 19 violations each during construction. 
The Rover and Mariner violations included spills of drilling fluid, a clay-and-water mixture that lubricates equipment for drilling under rivers and highways; sinkholes in backyards; and improper disposal of hazardous waste and other trash. Fines topped $15 million. 
Energy Transfer also raised the ire of federal regulators by tearing down a historic house along Rover’s route.
The rest of the article can be read by clicking here.

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PARTA Opens Natural Gas Filling Station in Portage County

From the Record-Courier:
With Ohio’s status as “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” it only makes sense for some expansion of infrastructure to make it available to area motorists, said CNG-One’s Michael Battaglia. 
About 60 people were on hand Wednesday as PARTA celebrated just that — the opening of its compressed natural gas filling station, which it uses in some of its buses and makes available to the public. The station is located at 2000 Summit Road just east of Kent State University. 
With the addition of CNG on the site, PARTA General Manager Claudia Amrhein said the agency now has two compressed natural gas buses and plans to buy eight more during the next several years. She encourages other fleet managers to consider converting as well. 
“The station is now open to the public, which makes it really possible for local fleet owners to consider converting to natural gas-powered vehicles,” she said. 
According to Battaglia, several area fleet managers are weighing whether to make the transition, which one should not do lightly. CNG-One converts vehicles running on regular gas to compressed natural gas vehicles.
Click here to read more.

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Ohio EPA Seeks Input on Proposed Modifications to Belmont County Cracker Plant

Hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 12, 2018


Ohio EPA will hold a public meeting to present information and accept comments on draft modifications to the wastewater discharge permit related to the proposed PTTGCA Petrochemical Complex that would be located at Old Route 7 and Ferry Landing Road (Hwy. 2), Shadyside.
The information session is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2018, and will be held at Shadyside Community Center, 50 E. 39th Street. The public hearing will immediately follow, during which the public can submit comments for the record concerning the draft modification.
The modifications to the wastewater discharge permit conditions requested by PTTGC America LLC would:
  • decrease the levels of pollutants to be discharged to the Ohio River;
  • change the locations where storm water, which is water that runs off impervious surfaces after rain events, will be discharged; and
  • modify limits at an internal monitoring station that does not directly discharge to surface water.
During the hearing, the public may present testimony concerning the modifications to the wastewater discharge permit.
The draft modified permit may be viewed online at wwwapp.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/permits/Draft/0IF00018.pdf or at the Ohio EPA Southeast District Office, 2195 Front St., Logan. Call for an appointment: (740) 385-8501.
Ohio EPA values public input. Comments will be accepted both verbally and in writing at the hearing and may be submitted through Dec. 19, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to: epa.dswcomments@epa.ohio.gov or by mail to Ohio EPA-DSW Permits Processing, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049.

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