Ohio Business Roundtable Sells Out – Endorses High Severance Tax

With Friends Like TheseUnbelievably, the Ohio Business Roundtable, comprised of CEOs of big businesses in Ohio, has endorsed a high severance tax on Utica Shale drilling. The OBR is using (abusing) an Ernst & Young “analysis” to say, in essence, go ahead and screw drillers and landowners–the drillers will stick around because they get screwed worse elsewhere. We’re somewhat befuddled at how the OBR can say it’s OK to steal the wealth from a specific industry and transfer to others who didn’t earn it. But we’re simple folks in our reasoning power. All’s we can say is that, with friends like these…

Below is the statement from the OBR and a copy of the “analysis” done by E&Y that blesses a high severance tax and makes it OK for Ohio’s RINOs to force it through.
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Utica/Marcellus Welders Making $150K/Year – More Needed

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed article, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel says schools might want to think about bringing back shop class. Why? Because companies like Pioneer Pipe, operating in Ohio’s Utica Shale, can’t find enough certified welders to keep up with the demand. Right now Pioneer employs 60 welders who make over $150,000 per year!

Let’s see–go to college, get a four-year degree, and end up working at Starbucks. Or, go to trade school (or shop class), become a certified welder, work hard and join the ranks of what President Obama calls the 1% (those earning over $150K a year)…
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800 NY Officials Work Against Constituents to Ban Fracking

A group of 800 elected New York State officials has decided to actively work against the best interests of their constituents. Only in New York, right? A group calling themselves Elected Officials to Protect New York, mostly comprised of members from outside of where shale drilling would happen, are spreading lies about the so-called dangers of drilling and calling on the state to extend a nearly six year-old moratorium. Which of course is a joke–the ongoing moratorium is in essence a ban. Extending it is a euphemism for ban it permanently.

Their motivation is irrational fossil fuel hatred. They believe we can stick up solar panels and wind mills all over the place and replace those evil, nasty fossil fuels–including “fracked” natural gas. They are, in a word, nuts. Here’s the bupkis emanating from the so-called “Elected Officials to Protect New York”…
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Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Coming to Marshall County, WV

A brand new 549 megawatt electrical generating plant, powered by Marcellus Shale, is planned for Moundsville (Marshall County), WV. Officially announced yesterday, the plant will begin construction in 2015 and take 30 months to build. Along the way it will provide 400 labor union jobs and when complete, will provide 25-30 high paying permanent jobs. The plant, dubbed Moundsville Power LLC, will be built at a former chemical plant site, next door to the Williams fractionation plant–using Marcellus Shale gas processed at the Williams plant. It will use GE combined cycle technology to power it and it will produce enough electricity to power 549,000 homes.

Moundsville Power is actually headquartered in Buffalo, NY. Below we have the official announcement, information about the unusual arrangement to get it built (the county will own the assets), encouraging reaction from local political officials, and the names of the principals (and the address) for Moundsville Power…
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Magnum Hunter Sells Canadian Assets to Focus on Marcellus/Utica

Magnum Hunter announced yesterday they are selling their Canadian assets–52,520 acres of leases and 84 producing wells in Saskatchewan, Canada for $67.5 million. Why? So they can further focus on the Marcellus and Utica Shale in West Virginia and Ohio. The buyer is an unnamed private company, according to the MH press release…
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Sunoco Logistics Faces Hostile Crowd Over NGL Pipeline Station

Yesterday MDN told you about more trouble for Sunoco Logistics and the Mariner East natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline that will bring NGLs from western PA to southeastern PA and the Marcus Hook refinery (see More Pushback from PA Residents on Proposed Mariner East Pipeline). We told you that residents in Chester County, PA, near Philadelphia, are none too pleased with the plan. Some of them have sued to block Sunoco Logistics from becoming a public utility corporation with the power of eminent domain.

Last night Sunoco Logistics held a meeting at the West Chester East High School. It was a packed house and Sunoco Logistics people were on the hot seat the entire night…
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Lebanon Opposition to Williams Transco Pipeline Sunrise Expansion

Back in February MDN told you that Williams is planning to expand their Transco pipeline to carry an extra 1.7 million dekatherms (see Williams Plans $2.1B Transco Pipeline Expansion, 100% Sold Already). The new expansion project is called the Atlantic Sunrise Expansion. Williams really wants to spend that money, some of it which will go to the communities where the pipeline will be built.

However, Williams has an uphill battle before they see the Sunrise. A group of anti-drillers in Lebanon County, PA is opposing the project. They’re organizing and planning strategy this week for how they can stop the pipeline–which would deny residents along the eastern seaboard cheaper natural gas. Here’s the lowdown on the latest anti-drilling initiative…
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Marcellus Gas Heading to Georgia via Transco Pipeline

Last week Williams announced the open season for their Dalton Expansion Project which will expand the Transco pipeline system with new pipeline in the southeast was a success–100% subscribed for an additional 448,000 dekatherms of natgas per day. The gas will come from the Marcellus and it will go to northwest Georgia. The Dalton Expansion Project will run from New Jersey to as far south as Mississippi. A new 106-mile pipeline will be installed from Transco’s Station 115 to Murray County, GA.

More on the good news that Marcellus Shale gas is heading to Dixie…
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Marcellus/Utica Ethane Exports on the Way – from the Gulf Coast!

Enterprise Products Partners, builder of the ATEX (Appalachia-to-Texas Express) ethane pipeline from Washington County, PA through Ohio and all the way to the Gulf Coast, has just announced what they plan to do with some of the ethane they’re sending to the Gulf Coast. Yes, right now it’s being sold to cracker plants along the Gulf Coast for processing into ethylene (used to make plastics), but Enterprise has just announced they will build an ethane export facility and send some of that cheap, abundant ethane to foreign destinations.

Enterprise says U.S. production capacity and use for ethane exceeds demand and it only makes sense to export some good, ole American energy to other countries. Good for them, and good for u$…
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Anti Group Stops Wastewater Injection Wells Near Mansfield, OH

Anti-drilling group Frack Free Ohio (we call them Fracking Up Ohio) is claiming victory in stopping a pair of proposed frack wastewater injection wells that were planned for Mansfield (Richland County), OH. Fracking Up spread enough lies and innuendo around to confuse 63% of the voters into passing a resolution opposing the injection wells. Since the company planning to build the injection wells just wasted $200,000–now down the toilet–you can expect other Utica-related companies to give Mansfield a pass in the future. Bye bye jobs. Bye bye increased tax revenues. Bye bye Mansfield.

Now the folks from Fracking Up Ohio want to spread their anti-drilling disease to other locations–like Ashland and Crawford counties…
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SD Co. Building PA Frack Wastewater Plant Wins 1st Prize in Paris

MDN is aware of several companies working on a solution to “the water problem”–a better solution for handling frack wastewater–better than disposing of it via injection wells. The technologies we’ve heard about are truly exciting. One such company, which is headquartered in South Dakota (but building a treatment plant in Pennsylvania to service the Marcellus and Utica) is Advanced Water Recovery (AWR). AWR recently participated in the Global Water Initiative in Paris, France. They entered the Global Water Awards competition–and won first place in the category Water Technology Idol.

We look forward to learning more about AWR’s technology and where, precisely, they’re building their plant in Pennsylvania, which is due to be completed this summer. Below is the press release announcing their first prize placement in the Paris competition, along with other background we are able to gather up…
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Shale Plays Now Majority of Revenue for Oilfield Services Cos

Each year UHY LLP Certified Public Accountants and PennWell Publishing’s Oil & Gas Financial Journal conduct a survey of the oil and gas industry and publish the results. In a press release about the latest survey we learn some interesting facts: More than half of oilfield services companies and some 40% of drillers (E&P companies) say that shale plays will be responsible for more than half of their revenues in 2014; most companies surveyed believe the commodity price of natural gas will remain at the $4-$6 level through the end of 2015; and 75% of those surveyed use pipelines to get their product to market, as opposed to tanker trucks and railroads.

Here’s the full press release with some more tidbits from the survey, along with instructions for how to get a copy of the survey…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Apr 23, 2014

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading:
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More Pushback from PA Residents on Proposed Mariner East Pipeline

pushing backAs part of the good news story about the “makeover” of the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia, MDN came across more details about Sunoco Logistics’ plans to potentially use eminent domain in order to lay pipeline that will bring natural gas liquids, like ethane, to Marcus Hook. You may recall a few weeks ago we told you Sunoco Logistics had made a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to exempt the Mariner East pipeline from local zoning regulations in building some 31 pump and valve control stations across the length of the pipeline (see Sunoco Logistics’ New Roadblock in Building Mariner East Pipeline). A court case in Washington County, PA challenged that right in light of the decision from the PA Supreme Court that grants zoning rights, even for oil and gas development, to local municipalities.

Sunoco Logistics is now being challenged in court in Chester County, questioning their right to become a “public utility corporation” with the right of eminent domain. Just to confuse the issue further, a public utility corporation is not the same thing as being a public utility in PA. However, if Sunoco Logistics is granted public utility corporation status, it means they have the right of eminent domain but are overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and not by the PA PUC. In other words, they get the benefits of being a public utility, without the “burdens” of PA state oversight. That has some residents up in arms…
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OH County Commissioner Says ‘No Thanks’ to Severance Tax Increase

A lone voice crying in the wilderness! Amid all of the calls for more socialism–redistributing the hard-earned money from landowners and drilling companies to people who didn’t earn it via a higher severance tax–a Washington County, OH commissioner says “No!” He says raising the severance tax is a fundamentally bad idea and he does not endorse the Republicans’ dalliance with the idea.

And so we bring you a letter to the editor reprinted in the Parkersburg (WV) News and Sentinel from Washington County, OH commissioner Ron Feathers, a man we salute!…
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WV City Turns Former Football Field into RV Park for Shale Workers

Here’s an idea: Rent RV spots on a now-abandoned sports field to temporary workers in the area who are there to work on pipelines and compressor stations, drilling and fracking–and use the money to someday convert that field into a neighborhood park once the temporary workers have done their job and moved on. McMechen (Marshall County), WV Mayor Mike Gracik is proposing just that. The old sports field that once hosted football games for Bishop Donahue High School and the former Union High School is already hosting a dozen RVs right now, with room to easily double that number.

But (you may ask), won’t that bring in, you know, transient workers who will be loud and noisy and spread STDs all over the place? According to Mayor Gracik, the RV campground is “one of the most quiet places around the city”…
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