BP has entered the Utica Shale play by signing a lease agreement with with the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley (ALOV) group to lease 84,000 acres in Trumbull County, OH. Not sure why, but BP and the ALOV group officially are not disclosing the terms of the deal (as you’ll see in the press release below). However, terms have already leaked:
The Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) issued a press release on Monday taking Ohio Gov. John Kasich to task for his proposal to slap a severance tax increase on the nascent Utica Shale drilling industry and use the proceeds to give taxpayers an income tax reduction. The new tax increase on drillers has been tentatively removed from budget discussions, but OOGA believes Kasich won’t let it rest and will likely try to resurrect it.
From the OOGA press release:
Seven Beaver County, PA families filed a lawsuit yesterday in Common Pleas Court accusing O&G Investments of Wooster, Ohio of not drilling on their land (and not paying them) for the past seven years. The lawsuit also names Chesapeake Energy, who purchased the leases from O&G last year and who now, “at the last minute,” is trying to tie up the land and continue the contract by moving in equipment to start a drill pad—even though they haven’t received any permits to drill.
Clean Harbors Environmental Services of Norwell, Mass. has applied for a permit to build a “waste processing facility” in Sunbury (Northumberland County), PA. The facility will accept up to 1,000 tons of Marcellus Shale drill cuttings, drilling mud and other materials per day. Although the waste is not toxic, some local officials are concerned and upset that the state DEP alone will make a decision about whether or not to approve the permit (Sunbury has no say in the matter). Sunbury mayor David Persing supports the new facility.
A new natural gas processing plant to be built by MarkWest Energy was supposed to be built in Monroe County, Ohio, but the geography has now shifted west and the plant will be built in neighboring Noble County, Ohio instead.
Pipelines and the “midstream” are the next big investment opportunities for investors—so says an article by Bloomberg.
A quick primer on the oil and gas business. Drilling for oil and gas, often referred to as exploration and production (or E&P) is what is usually called “upstream.” The term “midstream” refers to the pipelines, compressor stations and processing plants that move and refine oil and gas. “Downstream” is the distribution and marketing of oil and gas to end customers. There’s some blurring of those lines; for example, big oil refineries are usually considered downstream. But you get the idea.
Check out an excellent column today by Paul Driessen on the TownHall.com website. Paul is a senior policy adviser for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), and a senior policy adviser to the Congress of Racial Equality. He’s also author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power – Black Death.
In today’s column, Paul makes the point that the Sierra Club and other so-called environmental groups oppose clean-burning natural gas and shale drilling because it’s a threat to their alternative-energy-nirvana ideology (something MDN has long pointed out). The column starts this way:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: