Shell Delays Buying Site for PA Cracker for 2nd Six-Month Period

Expect Delays signYou probably could have seen this one coming: Last Friday, Shell signed a second six-month extension with Horsehead Corp. on a 300-acre site in Beaver County, PA. Shell continues to evaluate the site’s suitability to build a $2 billion ethane cracker plant–a plant that will convert ethane recovered during shale gas drilling in “wet gas” areas into (among other things) ethylene–the raw material used to make plastics. The land deal was supposed to be signed, sealed and delivered by the end of 2012, but that changed when Shell and Horsehead signed their first six-month extension (see Gov Tom Corbett: Shell Cracker Plant in PA Not “Off the Rails”).

In April 2013, PA Gov. Tom Corbett, under “badgering” by the Pittsburgh Business Times (according to Corbett’s office), said he believed the deal would not be signed until 2014 (see Corbett Story Changes: Decision on PA Cracker Plant Delayed Again). It appears his prediction was accurate:
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PA Gov. Lights into DRBC Over Failure to Act on Drilling Rules

It is a breath of fresh air and a wonder to behold when a politician strips away the smarmy doublespeak and says exactly what she (or he) thinks. Last week, PA Gov. Tom Corbett did just that. In very strong and plain language, he excoriated Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Executive Director Carol Collier and his own fellow commissioners of the DRBC (NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NJ Gov. Chris Christie and DE Gov. Jack Markell). The DRBC under Collier has not allowed drilling in several northeastern PA counties that lie in the Delaware River Basin for going on three years. Why?

Depending on whom you ask, some say the DRBC’s failure to act is the fault of the commissioners (the governors of PA, NY, NJ, DE plus a rep from the Army Corps of Engineers). However, Director Collier has clearly thrown her lot in with anti-drillers and uses her leadership of the DRBC to block drilling–refusing to push draft rules adopted in 2011 out for a vote by the commissioners. Corbett has had enough and says so, very plainly, in his letter. He tells Collier she can expect to be sued if she doesn’t get moving–now…
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World War T: OH Severance Tax is Dead, but May Come Back Again

OH Gov. John Kasich–known around these parts as the “foreigner-hunter” (see OH Gov. Kasich Goes Foreigner-Hunting in Strasburg)–thought his brilliant plan to assess Utica drilling in the state with a high severance tax would be “a layup.” Thankfully, he blew the easy shot.

A high oil and gas severance tax in Ohio is, for now, dead. But like the zombies in World War Z, don’t expect it to stay dead–at least according to Gov. Kasich. He hasn’t given up on the idea. Like those pesky and energetic zombies chasing Brad Pitt, you can expect a higher severance tax to spring back to un-life at any time…
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GreenHunter Frack Wastewater Plant Opens in Washington County, OH

Seems like GreenHunter Water is on fire in the Marcellus/Utica. Perhaps that’s a poor choice of metaphor! Here’s what we mean: GreenHunter is building fracking wastewater facilities at a prodigious rate in the northeast. Just a few weeks ago GreenHunter cut the ribbon on a new frack wastewater injection well in Meigs County, Ohio (see GreenHunter Opens Brine Injection Well in Meigs County, OH). Next week the Wheeling City Council will vote on whether or not to allow GreenHunter to build and operate a wastewater recycling facility on the Ohio River in the city (see GreenHunter’s Wheeling Frack Wastewater Plant Up for Vote July 8).

In the meantime, another GreenHunter frack wastewater recycling plant started operations last week–in Washington County, OH:
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NY Eco Group Protest to Stop Plant Converting from Coal to NatGas

It would be hysterically funny if it weren’t so pathetically sad. So-called environmentalists don’t want an electrical generating power plant in Tompkins County, near Ithaca, NY, to switch from burning coal to natural gas because they’re afraid it will mean more fracking. Talk about cuckoo birds. Members of a group called the Finger Lakes Action Network protested at the plant on Saturday…
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Businesses in Marcellus/Utica: New Way to Access Supply Chain

Businesses in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region looking to plug in to the drilling supply chain now have a new way to do so. A company called ShaleMarkets.com has just launched a Buyer Sourcing Application which they describe as somewhat similar to a reverse auction–with some important differences. Drillers or other companies in the supply chain post the products/services they want to buy, along with a list of preferred vendors, to the system. ShaleMarkets.com will then contact those vendors and other vendors in the network, not revealing the buyer’s identity, to elicit bids and pass them back to the buyer for a final selection.

Here’s the ShaleMarkets.com announcement detailing the new service and how it works:
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