Competition to attract an ethane cracker plant is heating up. West Virginia has made no bones that they intend to be the winners of the investment that will be made to build an ethane cracker plant to be built by Shell. The plant will cost upward of $2 billion and will create thousands of jobs to build the plant, operate the plant, and just as importantly, in the industries that will locate near the plant once it’s operational. It’s an economic jackpot worth $5 billion or more, and those who are in the game to attract it are in it to win.
A 4.0 earthquake in the Youngstown, OH area on Saturday afternoon is thought to be connected to a local injection well. MDN has chronicled previous episodes of earthquakes thought to be connected with injection wells in Arkansas and Texas. Saturday’s earthquake was the 11th in the Youngstown area in recent months, and by far the strongest. The theory is that fluid, which is pumped nearly two miles underground under very high pressure, had migrated to a nearby fault and is causing the fault to shift.
Until it can be determined what, exactly, is happening, all further injection of fluid into the well has been stopped. In fact, fluid injection had stopped a day earlier, on Friday, before Saturday’s quake. But pressure in the well would remain high for a period of time, likely leading to the 4.0 quake.
MDN recently covered the vote to enact a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the City of Binghamton (see MDN stories here). It took some time, but we finally received a copy of the actual legislation that was enacted. The legislation is embedded below, along with all of the associated paperwork that goes with it.
Tom Shepstone, head of Energy in Depth’s Northeast Marcellus Initiative, was also at the Binghamton City Council public hearing and the vote that followed. Tom has written an excellent article titled, “Pulling the Curtain Back on the Binghamton Ban Vote.” MDN recommends you read it for a proper understanding of just what went on behind the scenes.
Instead of trying to regulate Marcellus drilling inside municipal borders, Benton Township (Lackawanna County), PA took a different approach when Southwestern Energy recently drilled an exploratory well. Benton hired an independent engineer to monitor drilling and construction of the well. According to township officials, the process has been “an ‘unequivocal’ success.”
Pennsylvania’s rural roads are seeing upgrades because of gas drilling activity. When drilling comes to a municipality or county, and with it an increase in truck traffic, drillers step up to the plate and repair the roads that they use. Most of the time roads are left in better shape than before drilling began.
West Virginia is now starting to see the same improvements with their roads: