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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Rig Count Up One, But Permitting Remains Slow in Utica

New permits issued last week: 3  (Previous week: 4-1
Total horizontal permits issued: 2900 (Previous week: 2897+3
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2424 (Previous week: 2421+3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2033 (Previous week: 2033+-0
Utica rig count: 18 (Previous week: 17)  +1

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Utica Shale Academy Seeing Uptick in Enrollment

From The Herald Star:
Enrollment in the Utica Shale Academy is increasing, members of the governing board of the Jefferson County Educational Service Center board learned Wednesday.

Tony Delboccio, principal of the Salineville campus, said enrollment is up at the academy’s locations in Salineville and Columbiana. 
“It’s good,” he said. “There are a a couple of days we are packed in there like sardines, but it’s a good thing.” 
Delboccio reported the enrollment in the schools is up to 49 students at the Salineville campus and 14 at the Columbiana campus. 
He said the school now is providing the students with lunches. 
“They were spending $20 at the vending machines and it was taking away from instruction time,” Delboccio said. 
He also told the board there is more than $55,000 worth of rollover funds that can be used for the new school year.
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Past, Present and Future of Shale Activity in Ohio All Part of Event at Belmont College

From The Times Leader:
Future job creation and a large investment in the economy are expected to stem from the natural gas boom in Eastern Ohio.

That was part of the message shared Thursday when more than 100 people gathered at Belmont College to learn about the status of the Utica Shale play in Ohio. The St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce worked with the Columbus-based Ohio Oil and Gas Association to coordinate the event, which also featured speakers from the Ohio Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute — Ohio, Ascent Resources and EQT Corp. Those industry insiders addressed a large crowd in the newly renovated Horizon Hall in a Lunch and Learn format. 
Mike Chadsey, public relations director for OOGA, educated the audience on the history of oil and gas development in the Buckeye State. While the first successful drilling operation got underway in Pennsylvania in the mid-19th century, Chadsey said oil was first discovered in Ohio in 1814 in Noble County near present-day Caldwell. He added that during the “Rockefeller days,”referring to Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller, Ohio was the world’s largest crude oil producer. 
Today, natural gas is being pumped from wells in the same region where the first oil strike occurred, with nearly 3,000 wells permitted across the state. He provided the following figures regarding the number of permitted wells in local counties: 
∫ Belmont — 585 wells
∫ Harrison — 423 wells
∫ Monroe — 413
∫ Jefferson — 194
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Utica Summit in Canton Hears Update on Cracker Plant in PA

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Shell Appalachia’s “cracker plant” in western Pennsylvania is years away from making plastic pellets, but thousands of workers are busy building the $6 billion project. 
Michael Marr, Shell Appalachia’s business integration lead, gave his first presentation on the Pennsylvania Chemicals Project to an Ohio audience at Utica Summit VI presented Wednesday by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and at Walsh University. 
Shell is building its Pennsylvania Chemicals Project on the site of a former zinc smelter next to the Ohio River in Beaver County. 
Shell chose to build the plant about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh because the site is close to ethane-producing Marcellus Shale wells and is within 700 miles of 70 percent of the North American market for polyethylene pellets. 
The plant consists of a cracker that uses heat and pressure to turn ethane into ethylene. Three other units then turn the ethane into polyethylene resin that other companies use to make packaging, film, pipe and other goods. 
Shell exercised its option on the property in 2015 and had to move 7.2 million cubic yards of dirt to prepare the site.
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Wastewater Disposal News: Nuverra Announces Acquisition of Clearwater

From a press release:
Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc. (NYSE American: NES) today announced it has acquired Clearwater Solutions, a leading operator of saltwater disposal wells (SWDs) in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas, for $41.9 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. 
This purchase more than doubles Nuverra’s SWD capacity in the region and will add value for each of its customers with more strategically located disposal capacity. Clearwater’s disposal wells at the Clearwater Three and Clearwater Five locations offer several offloading lanes and disposal capacity of 17,500 barrels per day. Its locations are in Guernsey County, Ohio, which is in the heart of the regional oil and gas activity. 
Charlie Thompson, Interim Chief Executive Officer said, “The Clearwater acquisition significantly improves our competitive position in the Northeast marketplace due to the added capacity of the new wells and logistical advantages for our trucking business. Based on recent volume statistics, Nuverra will be the second largest commercial operator of SWDs in the region. Clearwater’s 2018 forecasted normalized EBITDA is approximately $8 million before synergies. Synergies expected to be realized through integration with our trucking operations would reduce the post-synergy acquisition multiple to less than four times EBITDA.” 
In connection with this transaction, Nuverra’s two largest shareholders have provided financing of $32.5 million in the form of a bridge loan that will be repaid with proceeds from a planned offering to shareholders of common stock purchase rights. The rights offering will be made available to all shareholders on a pro rata basis and bridge loan lenders have committed to purchase the shares underlying any rights that are not exercised by other holders. In addition, the Company amended its first lien term loan to extend its maturity and received an additional $10 million of term loan proceeds that funded a portion of the Clearwater purchase price and made various other modifications to give the Company additional flexibility.
Click here to read the entire press release.

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Lordstown Energy Center Comes Online

From a press release:
Lordstown Energy Center (LEC), a 940-megawatt, gas-fueled electricity generation plant, announced today that it has begun commercial operation. LEC uses locally sourced natural gas to generate safe, clean and efficient energy that serves approximately 850,000 households. 
“We are excited to serve customers with this state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facility,” said Robert Haley, LEC operations director. “Our team is well-equipped and highly trained, and I’m pleased that we have begun 24/7 operations.” 
“We’re very grateful for the support we’ve received from our investors, employees, suppliers, local and state government leaders and the residents of our community, including hundreds of construction workers. Their cooperation and hard work were critical to our ability to achieve today’s milestone.” 
James Dignan, president and CEO of Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, added, “We are happy to have helped bring this nearly $1 billion investment to the Mahoning Valley. The Lordstown Energy Center has already proven itself to be a good corporate citizen. We look forward to having the company be a part of our community for decades to come.”
Read the rest of this release by clicking here.

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Injection Well in Athens Has a New Owner

From a press release:
Reliable One Resources, Inc., a provider of innovative water disposal and water recycling services, today announced the purchase of an existing, operating, water disposal and injection facility in Athens County, Ohio, a key milestone in the company’s strategy to collect and treat produced and flowback water for oil and gas operators throughout the United States. The purchase was made by Reliable One’s wholly-owned Reliable Enterprises, Inc. subsidiary, which does business in the state as Reliable Enterprises Ohio, Inc.

The Athens County facility has current contracts with oil and gas producers and water haulers in the Marcellus Shale region. As a result, an existing supply of water is already committed to the site, and operations at the facility will be maintained throughout the ownership change. Existing management has agreed to stay on to ensure a seamless transition with uninterrupted operations at the site. 
The location of the facility is considered ideal due to its proximity to operators in the Marcellus Shale as well as those in the Utica Shale and adjoining oil and gas producing areas. 
Near-term plans for the facility include expanding water storage with the installation of additional tanks, which is projected to increase capacity by 30%, followed by the drilling of a second well that will allow for even faster processing of incoming water supplies. 
The company’s broader operational plan includes securing larger amounts of produced and flowback water for delivery to the Athens County facility as well as for processing at Reliable One’s future water recycling facility in the Marcellus region.

To that end, Reliable One also expects to complete the pending purchase of multiple trucking companies that currently haul produced and flowback water from Marcellus-area oil and gas operations.
Read the whole release by clicking here.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

ODNR Posts Latest Updated Utica and Marcellus Shale Activity Maps

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New Permits and Rig Counts Both Drop in Utica Shale Last Week

New permits issued last week: 4  (Previous week: 14-10
Total horizontal permits issued: 2897 (Previous week: 2892+5
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2421 (Previous week: 2420+1
Total horizontal wells producing: 2033 (Previous week: 2029+4
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 18)  -1

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Decision on Belmont County Cracker Plant May be Delayed Again

From the Pittsburgh Business Times:
A final investment decision multibillion-dollar second ethane cracker being considered on the site of a former Ohio power plant south of Pittsburgh could be delayed until after the first of the year. 
Word earlier this year was that the PTT Global Chemicals and Daelim ethane cracker, which would be similiar in size to the one that Shell Chemicals is building in Monaca, would give the go-ahead by the end of 2018. But now sources in the industry say it could be pushed back into 2019 not for any reason related to whether the project would go ahead but instead due to the complexity of the decision. 
Shell Chemicals took years of prep work, acquisition of land, demolition and literally moving a hill and a road in Beaver County before it decided in June 2016 to go ahead with the ethane cracker. PTT, a Thailand-based chemical company, is further back on the timeline because it got started years later. 
PTT’s site, along the Ohio River, is at a former American Electric Power plant in Belmont County, Ohio, just across the river from Moundsville, West Virginia. The site has been demolished and cleared although construction is awaiting the FID, final investment decision. A decision has been delayed in the past.
Click here to read more of that article.  After multiple delays, this story is beginning to reach "wake me up when they make a decision" status.

Meanwhile, WTRF reports that an Ohio clergyman has chosen to join anti-fossil fuel activists in opposing the cracker plant project:

In another WTRF report, Moundsville's mayor says the area infrastructure needs improvement to handle the change that the cracker plant could bring:

In other cracker plant-related news: Activists recently convened in Moundsville to stir fears regarding the project, as reported by WTOV News:

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Groundbreaking Pushed Back Again on Guernsey Power Station Project

From the Daily Jeffersonian:
Efforts are on course now for a March groundbreaking for work on the planned Guernsey Power Station, said Norm Blanchard, executive director of the Cambridge-Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation.

Blanchard conferred on Monday morning with Mary and Michael King who are spearheading the power plant development efforts. The plant is expected to produce 1,650 megawatts of electricity, which would be enough to power about 1.5 million homes.

The timetable for beginning work on the project has been moved back several times. That has happened because of the many variables with which the Kings have had to contend.

Each power plant project entails its own unique challenges.

For the Guernsey Power Station, that challenge has been simply its unexpected complexity. Factors that had to be faced included the site’s proximity to Interstate 77, environmental matters because of the wetlands designation on the planned site and the fact that the area — like much of Guernsey County — sits atop a honeycomb of old, abandoned coal mines.
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Toledo's Anti-Drilling Measure Becomes the Latest to Fail in Court

From the Toledo Blade:
The Ohio Supreme Court denied a request Friday to force the Lucas County Board of Elections to place a Lake Erie Bill of Rights initiative on the November ballot. 
Last month, Toledoans for Safe Water filed a lawsuit with the court against the elections board for denying the group’s request to have its proposed measure on the ballot that calls for a vote to amend the Toledo City Charter and declare the Lake Erie watershed has legal rights to “exist and flourish.” It also proposes the world’s 11th largest body of water be given rights as an ecosystem that citizens would be legally entitled to defend. 
The Supreme Court found the Toledoans for Safe Water failed to show the elections board abused discretion or disregarded the law by rejecting their petition. 
Assistant county prosecutor Kevin Pituch, who represented the elections board, said in an email Friday he is pleased with the decision. He previously argued the Lake Erie group’s proposal went beyond the scope of what city law could enforce.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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Elderly Couple Wins Lawsuit After EQT Bilked Them Out of Royalties

From Marcellus Drilling News:
In the Summer and Fall of 2016, EQT drilled six Marcellus Shale wells on a well pad located on an adjacent farm. The horizontal lateral “legs” of those wells extended beneath the Richards property. “When we received the first royalty checks from the new horizontal wells in January, 2017, and I was shocked to see how much EQT had taken from us in the deductions,” stated Mr. Richards. 
In addition to a sizeable increase in their royalty payments from the Marcellus Shale wells, the Richardses discovered something very troubling. In violation of the terms of the 1951 leases, EQT had taken large deductions from their gas royalty payments. 
Those royalty deductions had been taken to offset the costs of the natural resources severance taxes which the State of West Virginia charged EQT as a producer of oil and gas on both the old vertical wells and the new horizontal shale wells. The corporation had also taken deductions to offset post-production costs on the horizontal shale wells for gathering and moving the natural gas to the interstate pipeline. 
According to EQT, those costs were incurred among the several EQT subsidiary companies, and then “charged back” to the individual mineral owners in the form of a reduced price for the natural gas. 
Testimony and documents presented at trial from EQT showed it took deductions for expenses from the time the “wet” shale gas left the wellhead near the community of Pullman until it entered the interstate pipeline. Those deductions included transportation to the MarkWest plant located thirty miles away in Doddridge County, where the natural gas liquids were separated from the methane. 
According to the trial testimony, after Arnold Richards discovered the unauthorized deductions, he immediately called EQT and demanded a refund pursuant to the lease terms. “I didn’t get any satisfaction from EQT. They just gave me the runaround. That’s when I went to see my lawyers, Scott Windom and Rod Windom at Windom Law Offices,” he stated. “We filed suit just a month later, in February 2017.” 
In the meantime EQT continued taking the unauthorized deductions from the Richardses’ royalty payments. By the time of trial, EQT had withheld $42,541 in severance taxes, and $191,999 in improper post-production costs from them.
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Cracker Plant Helps Bring New Factory to Stark County

From The Canton Repository:
Jeff Lukas, who handles business development for IML, said the company needed a central location close to one of its larger customers, Land O’ Lakes. IML was shipping containers from facilities in Iowa and Quebec, and needed a location where it could add production. 
“We needed something in between,” Lukas said. 
The Canton area met the location requirement, and shipping logistics are easier because of the region’s highway system, Lukas said. 
Additionally, Ohio proved to be a business-friendly state, Lukas said. 
Ray Hexamer, president of the Stark Economic Development Board, said the agency worked with Team Northeast Ohio and JobsOhio to develop an incentive package for IML. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority reviewed the proposal and during a meeting on Monday approved a 1.129 percent, seven-year job creation tax credit for the company. 
Plans are for IML Containers of Ohio to provide research and development, die cutting, molding, production and warehousing for packaging use with a variety of food products.
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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Permitting Picks Up in Utica Shale as Rig Count Holds at 18 Again

New permits issued last week: 14  (Previous week: 4) +10
Total horizontal permits issued: 2892 (Previous week: 2889+3
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2420 (Previous week: 2421-1
Total horizontal wells producing: 2029 (Previous week: 2025+4
Utica rig count: 18 (Previous week: 18)  +-0

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Harrison County Poised for Exciting Growth

From WTOV:

Since the announcement of a new power plant to be built in Harrison County, Project Best is partnering with local elected officials to discuss continued economic growth.

Dozens of community leaders gathered Tuesday at Capraro's Restaurant & Lounge in Hopedale to discuss the bright future that lies ahead for the county

"Harrison County has remarkable growth over the past couple of years. We just want to help them and support them and continue to grow Harrison County," said Project BEST Co-Chair Ginny Favede. 

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules Against Oil and Gas Landman

From Vorys Energy & Environmental Law Blog:
Yesterday, September 25, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued the decision of Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corporation, 2018-Ohio-3826, which could have broad implications for third-party landmen, land companies and oil and gas producers in Ohio. In that decision, the Court held that the Ohio Real Estate Brokers’ statute, R.C. Chapter 4735, applies to transactions involving oil and gas. Specifically, the Court held that an outside landman must be a licensed real estate broker in order to seek compensation for work performed in obtaining an oil and gas lease on behalf of a producer. 
In Dundics, an outside landman sued a producer for breach of contract, claiming that the producer failed to make promised payments for work performed by the landman in obtaining oil and gas leases. The producer moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that because the landman was not a licensed real estate broker, the landman was not entitled to enforce his agreement with the producer. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss and the court of appeals affirmed.
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Infinity and Beyond! Activist Denies High Costs of Youngstown Anti-Fracking Measure

by Dan Alfaro, Energy in Depth

The taxpayers of Youngstown, Ohio, are once again being forced to foot the bill for a ballot measure that would ban fracking in the community, despite voting against the measure seven times previously. And the activists behind this movement have made it clear that they simply don’t care.
Thomas Lindsey, the co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) – the out-of-state activist group that has repeatedly tried and failed to pass a ballot measure that would ban fracking and all fossil fuel-related activity in Youngstown – has stated that he doesn’t mind bankrupting communities as a means to an end in advancing CELDF’s agenda.
“And if a town goes bankrupt trying to defend one of our ordinances, well, perhaps that’s exactly what is needed to trigger a national movement.”
And apparently, one of the primary activists behind the seven-times defeated CELDF-backed “Community Bill of Rights” efforts in Youngstown feels the same way.
EID caught up with activist Susie Beiersdorfer at Gasland Director Josh Fox’s “The Truth Has Changed” promotional event earlier this month at Youngstown State University and asked her point-blank how many times she would be willing push a ballot initiative that has already cost taxpayers more than $100,000.
EID: “Eighth time a charm this year?”
Beiersdorfer: “You know what, eight on its side is infinity.”
EID: “Eight on its side is infinity. Are you ready to go infinity times?”
Beiersdorfer: “You know what, we don’t lose until we quit…”
EID: “So even though that may come at the expense of infinity tax dollars?
Beiersdorfer: “We’ve had over $500,000 spent against us, all the community leaders are against us…
EID: “But that’s from private groups, this is public taxpayer dollars that are being put up every time we go through this…”
Beiersdorfer: “For what? What are taxpayer dollars being put up for? … To advertise in the Vindicator. You know what, Energy In Depth lied on that – that’s a lie.”
It isn’t, though, and Beiersdorfer feigning ignorance won’t change that fact. If anything, the cost to Youngstown’s taxpayers has been far more than $100,000. And what is even more certain is that Beiersdorfer and company don’t mind seeing that figure balloon even more. Back in May, Beiersdorfer echoed the above comments to EID when she told the Youngstown Vindicator:
“It’s not like we’re going to stop. Our motto is we don’t lose until we quit.”
Beiersdorfer has also stated that the ultimate goal of this effort is to kill jobs and push industries she and her fellow “Keep It In the Ground” cohorts don’t like out of the Mahoning Valley. If you have any doubts about how serious Youngstown’s small, yet vocal, anti-fracking movement is about pushing this thoroughly rejected agenda to infinity and beyond, check out this video of a local media interview with a member of Frack Free Mahoning Valley:
What makes this rhetoric all the more troubling is the fact that these folks not only want to ban fracking, but all industries they don’t like. In fact, CELDF and company literally want to take away all business and private property rights, period. As Linzey also recently stated:
“If you are going to put all that work into a ballot initiative, why not do a ballot initiative that bans all finance companies in New York City from funding new projects that exacerbate climate change? Why not do something real…why not do something real…cause people are saying to themselves, ‘it would be illegal, it would be unlawful, it would be unconstitutional, because you are taking their property’ well..(expletive), it’s time.”
Unfortunately for Youngstown’s taxpayers, it appears they will continue to have to pay for the actions of this fringe movement.

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State Senator Agrees to Discuss NEXUS Revenue with School Board

From The Press:
State Senator Randy Gardner, R – Bowling Green, said last week he’s accepted an invitation by the Woodmore school board to discuss property tax revenues from the Nexus pipeline and he tentatively plans to attend the board’s October meeting. 
“I told them I would be glad to meet with them and talk,” Gardner said. “The challenge is going to be there is not going to be any specific answer as to how much money will be available from any pipeline company and there is no definitive answer it will have on state funding. By the time this revenue would be available the next state budget would be in effect so the funding formula is likely to change. 
“It also depends on other factors that happen to the district – valuations change, student population changes. One factor of state aid is the local property tax wealth of the school district. Arguably, if there is a pipeline that adds valuation to the school district, the total value of state aid could be affected. But there is no way to answer that precisely. So if someone says what’s going to happen in 2020 or 2021, once construction of the pipeline is completed and the property valuation is determined you’re still not going to know the answer to that question precisely.” 
According to one estimate, Woodmore schools could receive about $5.3 million over five years from the pipeline when it’s operating.
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Latest Food & Water Watch Report Shows Switch in Tactics: Attack Petrochemicals … To Ban Fracking

by Nicole Jacobs, Energy in Depth

In Food & Water Watch’s (FWW) ongoing pursuit to ban fracking everywhere, the group recently released an issue brief that attacks the major petrochemical and plastics investments being made in the Appalachian Basin, calling the region “Another Petrochemical Sacrifice Zone.” Why? Because FWW believes that if it can squash the estimated $36 billion potential petrochemical investments for the region, the group can also achieve its long-term goal of banning fracking. From the report,
“Without the petrochemical and plastics industries to sop up the excess gas supply, it does not make economic sense to maintain the fracking frenzy when gas prices are this low.”
In fact, FWW’s top recommendations (resulting from the exaggerated risks in its report) clearly lay out the group’s “Keep It In the Ground” agenda:
  • “Banning fracking everywhere”
  • “Stopping fossil fuel exports and the construction of [pipeline] infrastructure to support these exports”
  • “Limiting purchases of non-biodegradable, plastic products that effectively supports and finances the oil and gas industry”
This may be FWW’s most bizarre report yet in that a vast majority of it is spent detailing the benefits of the shale industry and potential downstream investment with phrases thrown in randomly to spin these as negatives. For example:
“Too Much Gas: Setting the Stage for a Petrochemical Construction Boom” is an actual sub-heading within FWW’s report.
The Appalachian Basin is driving natural gas production growth across the country thanks to the incredible production taking place in the region. And oddly, that’s one of discussions FWW chooses to lead with in its report:
“The fracking industry’s gas production expanded nearly sixfold in 10 years, with gas production jumping from 2.9 quadrillion cubic feet in 2008 to an estimated 16.9 quadrillion cubic feet in 2017. The Marcellus and Utica shale basins beneath the Tri-State area have become a major source of shale gas, producing 7.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in 2016 — about 45 percent of all shale gas and a quarter of all gas produced in the United States. … Now the fracking industry needs new demand sources to absorb excess gas to justify more drilling. … This fracking-driven plastics bonanza also has a global reach.”
FWW actually dedicates more than 450 words to describing the increased production occurring in the region, while simultaneously injecting negative connotations to its explanation with language such as,
“Surging fracked gas production has collapsed natural gas prices, spawning a crisis in the fracking industry.”
The group then transitions to how this increased production has spurred investment interest – seriously. From the report:
“The surplus of ethane has been a boon for the plastics industry…”
“… ‘shale-based natural gas represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity’ for the North American plastics market.”
“The [American Chemistry Council] dubs shale gas as a ‘game changer for the chemistry industry,’ stating that it ‘holds the promise of a renaissance of chemical manufacturing in the United States.’”
“By 2023, the chemical industry could spend over $164 billion on 264 new facilities and expansion projects nationwide specifically to take advantage of shale gas, according to the ACC.”
“The building boom would include a large natural gas storage facility, a cluster of new petrochemical and plastics plants and a network of pipelines to transport the natural gas and NGLs to and from the hub. Since 2010, investors have planned to pour $16 billion into the region’s petrochemical and fracked gas infrastructure projects, but the ACC has recommended at least $32 billion to jump-start a petrochemical boom.”
“The industry investments will total tens of billions of dollars. Three facilities alone — two ethane crackers and the Storage Hub — are estimated to tally at least $26 billion.”
“The region is already home to many factories that manufacture plastics or plastic products. Currently, these factories buy plastic inputs like ethylene from the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. The regional buildout of gas storage, transportation and petrochemical processing plants like ethane crackers would substantially reduce transportation costs and supercharge the development of a new regional plastics powerhouse modeled after the Gulf Coast.”
“The Ohio Rail Development Commission is also receiving a $16.5 million grant that could serve as critical transportation infrastructure for the Ohio petrochemical plant, since almost all plastics in North America are transported by rail.”
And aside for one brief section on pipelines being at risk for leaks and explosions, the FWW report goes on about the positives of these industries for 6 1/2 pages – the whole report is only 9.5 pages, not counting endnotes – with phrasing like “polluting partners” thrown in occasionally to keep readers aware they should be reading these benefits as negatives before FWW ever gets into why in its mind any of this is a bad thing.
We’re not really sure what was up with that either, but … thank you?
Despite FWW’s assertions that “pipeline construction is disruptive and dangerous” and “threats to public safety and the environment remain even after construction is completed,” it’s a fact that pipelines are the safest means of transporting natural gas and natural gas liquids. From the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:
“Pipelines enable the safe movement of extraordinary quantities of energy products to industry and consumers, literally fueling our economy and way of life. The arteries of the Nation’s energy infrastructure, as well as one of the safest and least costly ways to transport energy products, our oil and gas pipelines provide the resources needed for national defense, heat and cool our homes, generate power for business and fuel an unparalleled transportation system.
“The nation’s more than 2.6 million miles of pipelines safely deliver trillions of cubic feet of natural gasand hundreds of billions of ton/miles of liquid petroleum products each year. They are essential: the volumes of energy products they move are well beyond the capacity of other forms of transportation. It would take a constant line of tanker trucks, about 750 per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to move the volume of even a modest pipeline. The railroad-equivalent of this single pipeline would be a train of 75 2,000-barrel tank rail cars everyday.
Pipeline systems are the safest means to move these products.” (emphasis added)
Cancer, Environmental Justice and Worker Safety
In true FWW fashion – albeit seven pages in – the group does eventually detail what it means by polluting partnership, claiming that shale development and these petrochemical and plastic facilities will cause a new cancer alley in Appalachia, have negative consequences for marginalized populations, and be harmful to workers.
But here’s the thing – cancer rates are actually lower in top shale basins than in states that have banned fracking. And shale is helping to greatly reduce the cost of energy in the Appalachian Basin, with recent reports from the Consumer Energy Alliance finding that this regional development saved natural gas consumers more than $80 billion from 2006 to 2016. Further, for ethane cracker facilities in particular, an ExxonMobil study of its existing facilities finds that ongoing monitoring “continue[s] to show the overall health of our employees is better than that of the U.S. population.”
The bottom line is this – for all of the reasons and more that Food & Water Watch highlighted, shale development has been a boon for this region. And the investment that it is spurring in manufacturing and other industries will ensure that these benefits last for generations. It’s a historic thing that’s happening here, and as this report proves, even one of the staunchest opponents of fracking had a difficult time ignoring the incredible benefits already seen and forecasted to occur in the Appalachian Basin.

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Environmentalists Causing Headaches for Midstream Pipeline Companies

From the Pittsburgh Business Times:
An expert in strategic communication for energy company expects the environment to get even more challenging for midstream companies as it deals with protests, recent challenges to construction and incidents like theBeaver County pipeline blast earlier this month. 
Environmentalists with deep pockets are challenging the pipeline industry with strategies that are leading to long delays for pipeline projects, said Jackie Stewart, managing director of FTI Consulting. And that, coupled with regulatory delays, are skyrocketing costs. 
"These things are not going to go away. They are going to get worse as we continue to go along, especially in light of the recent events," Stewart said. 
The Appalachian Regional Conference brought together midstream personnel and was sponsored by GPA Midstream Appalachian Basin. It comes at a time of increased scrutiny for the pipeline industry, after high-profile regulatory challenges and delays for the Mariner East 2 and Mountain Valley Pipeline, among projects An explosion Sept. 10 in Center Township on a pipeline owned by Energy Transfer Partners has led to more attention, industry executives say. 
Those could go a long way in an environment where energy companies companies that could mitigate risks by having a strategic communications and government affairs plan in place as an asit as strategy community and trade investment. get painted with a broad brush, Stewart said. 
"Just because your project may not have been responsible for something, a pipeline is a pipeline is a pipeline to people," she said. "Most of the time they are not going to know the difference.
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Energy Industry Brings $70 Billion in Investments to Ohio

From a JobsOhio press release:
Ohio has emerged as a national leader in energy, largely due to the state’s shale industry, which has served as the biggest driver of energy growth in the country and has contributed to the attraction of over $70 billion in new private sector energy investments in Ohio alone. When factoring in the rest of the Ohio Valley region, this number is significantly larger. These investments from the U.S. and abroad, combined with continued job growth, additional tax revenue and an abundance of low-cost, clean shale energy and electricity have resulted in a positive ripple effect on Ohio’s communities, businesses and consumers. 
Much of this growth can be attributed to Ohio’s proximity to the Utica and Marcellus shale formations in eastern Ohio, offering an abundance of low-cost natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and oils, and accounting for more than 85 percent of U.S. shale gas production growth since 2011. Additionally, the formations have helped Ohio’s shale gas industry lead the nation in growth for four consecutive years, according to the JobsOhio Shale Investment Report, compiled by Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. As many as 12,000 high-paying jobs in the state have directly resulted from this industry, and this figure exceeds 100,000 when indirect jobs such as welders, fabricators and logistical workers are included. 
Ohio offers an unparalleled business environment for investors in energy due to numerous factors that range from proximity to the nation’s largest natural gas reserve to efficient access to global markets. 
“When it comes to energy, no region, not even the Gulf, can compete with Ohio,” said Dana Saucier Jr., senior managing director of energy and chemicals at JobsOhio. “With natural gas prices at a cost lower than nearly anywhere else in the world, abundant fresh water from the Ohio River and other sources, an integrated infrastructure allowing for national and global market access, and many energy companies along the supply chain that call the state home, there is tremendous potential to further grow capital investment in Ohio in the energy industry.” 
JobsOhio has leveraged relationships with companies and resources across the state to advance Ohio’s energy industry and attract additional investments in Ohio’s communities. The billions in investments have helped to develop new state-of-the-art, clean electric generating plants, creating high-paying construction jobs and permanent jobs, and generating significant additional tax revenue to be reinvested in the communities. For example: 
  • South Field Energy recently announced a $1.3 billion investment to construct a new 1,182 megawatt, low-carbon electric generating facility in Columbiana County. The new plant marks the company’s second major project in Ohio and will create approximately 1,000 construction jobs.
  • The Carroll County Energy Facility helped fund a long-desired new school for Carrollton Exempted Village Schools through additional tax generation. These taxes will pay the school $1.3 million annually for 30 years to assist with the cost. The new school is scheduled to open in 2019 and will help attract businesses and employees with families to the area.
  • Thai-based PTTGC America and South Korean-based Daelim are still evaluating the feasibility of building a multibillion-dollar, world-scale petrochemical complex in Belmont County. If constructed, the project would create hundreds of permanent jobs and thousands of construction jobs in the Ohio Valley. This project would utilize regional and cost-advantaged ethane feedstock, as outlined in the Shale Crescent USA IHS study.
For more information on Ohio’s growing energy industry, visit:

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