EQT “Streamlines” 196 Employees Right Out the Door

Ever wonder how it feels to be “streamlined” (laid off, fired) to help the company’s “bottom line”? We can assure you, it feels lousy. It feels like the end of the world has just happened. The future is now uncertain. Will you have to sell the house? Pull the kids out of school? File for food stamps (something you’ve never had to do)? Those are some of the thoughts that are swirling through the heads of 196 soon-to-be former employees of EQT after the latest round of “streamlining” and “workforce reductions.”
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Nine Energy Trims Down, Sells Production Solutions Biz

Nine Energy Service, an oilfield services company that competes with companies like Halliburton and Baker Hughes, operates in a number of shale basins, including the Marcellus/Utica. Last October Nine bulked up by buying out Magnum Oil Tools, a “downhole technology” company (see Nine Energy Buying Magnum Oil Tools for $493M). Now Nine is slimming down by selling off its Production Solutions division (i.e. well services business) to Brigade Energy Services for $17 million. Along with the sale goes a reduction of 24% of Nine’s workforce.
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Delayed Michigan Gas-Fired Plant Finally Begins Construction

click for larger version

Nearly 20 years ago Indeck Energy floated a plan to build a an electric generating plant (powered by natural gas) in Niles, Michigan, not far from Chicago. In 2016 those plans got serious (see $1B Electric Plant Planned Near Chicago, M-U Connection?). In February 2018, Indeck said construction would begin in summer 2018–which never happened. Yesterday, Indeck finally held an official groundbreaking ceremony. The plant is now officially under construction.
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Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Beginning Construction in OH

Artist rendering of Guernsey Power Plant (click for larger version)

Construction on what we believe to be the country’s largest natural gas-fired electric plant, the Guernsey Power Station (being built in Guernsey County, Ohio), is set to begin “immediately” according to the company hired to do the engineering, procurement and construction activities (EPC). Last week Caithness Energy, the project developer, announced it has closed on $1.6 billion worth of financing for the project and has given the green light to Gemma Power Systems to begin construction of the plant.
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WV Gov Justice Creates Downstream Jobs Task Force to Leverage Shale

WV Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice wants to ensure his state is in the poll position to grab as many new businesses and jobs as possible from the embryonic but rapidly developing petrochemical industry in the Marcellus/Utica region. Justice announced yesterday he has signed an Executive Order to form the Governor’s Downstream Jobs Task Force, a group of WV officials who will work on developing sites for use by petchem manufacturers and work to attract potential investors.
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As Risberg Pipe Nears Finish, $474M Plant Locates in Ashtabula

Credit: Erie Times-News (click for larger version)

The Risberg Line, a 60-mile pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Erie County, PA, and from there across the border into Ashtabula County, OH, began construction in February (see Construction Begins on “Massive” PA to OH Risberg Pipeline). As the project nears completion, Ashtabula is already seeing the benefits. A $474 million pig iron plant is being built in Ashtabula that will use gas from this pipeline to power it. The new plant will use 500 construction workers to build it, and 110 permanent workers to operate it. And this plant is only the beginning for Ashtabula.
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CNX Resources Lays Off Another 20 Workers – 14% Now Gone

Last Wednesday MDN brought you the news that CNX Resources had laid off some 50 employees, with rumors circulating that more layoffs were coming (see CNX Resources Lays Off 10% of Total Workforce – More Cuts Coming?). Looks like the rumors were right. The company let go another 20 people late last week, making the new total 70 out of work–some 14% of the CNX workforce.
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CNX Resources Lays Off 10% of Total Workforce – More Cuts Coming?

CNX Resources has just laid off (i.e. fired) roughly 50 employees company-wide, most of them at company headquarters in Canonsburg. But not all. We heard from an MDN trust source who said at least nine workers got their walking papers in West Virginia. Given the company employs about 500 people, 50 fired represents 10% of the workforce. Question is, will there be more firings?
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U.S. Senator from Ohio Visits Encino Well Pad to Promote Jobs

Last November Encino Acquisition Partners (i.e. Encino Energy) completed its purchase of all of Chesapeake Energy’s Ohio Utica Shale assets for $2 billion (see Stop Press: Chesapeake Sells ALL of its Ohio Utica Assets for $2B). The deal included all of Chesapeake’s 933,000 Ohio acres–with 320,000 net Utica acres–and 920 operated and non-operated Ohio Utica wells.
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800 “Insulators” Coming to Shell Ethane Cracker Site

Not this kind of insulator…

When we first read a headline about 800 “insulators” coming to the Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA, we immediately thought it meant some sort of electrical component–you know, the things you see along electric lines near poles? But no, the article was not about electric insulators, but about *people* call insulators–members of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers union.
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New Law Signed Expanding PA’s PIPE Program – More Rural NatGas

PA Rep. Jonathon Fritz

In mid-June, MDN editor Jim Willis experienced the rare treat of venturing out from behind the keyboard to a press conference held in the great outdoors in nearby Susquehanna County, PA. The topic? Energize PA, a series of bills being promoted by Republicans in both the PA Senate and House (see Spreading Marcellus Love Throughout PA with Expanded PIPE Program). The event was organized by PA Rep. Jonathan Fritz, who opened the presser with details on House Bill (HB) 1103, a bill he sponsored that would expand the state’s PIPE program to run more “last mile” natural gas pipelines to homes and businesses in rural communities.
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Philadelphia Refinery Delays Firing 1,020 Workers Another 6 Weeks

In late June, MDN brought you the sad news that Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), which operates the East Coast’s largest refinery on the banks of the Delaware River, has decided to close, throwing 1,020 people out of work following a recent fire (see Philly Refinery to Close Following Massive Fire – 1,020 Jobs Lost). Later this week, July 12, was to be the last day for those employees. However PES recently announced they are extending the “last day” date, from July 12 to August 25, an extra six weeks. Why?
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NGL Storage Hub Federal Loan Guarantee May be in Trouble

Appalachia Development Group is leading an effort to build a ~$10 billion (or $2.5B, or $3.4B, depending on your source) NGL storage hub in Appalachia–most likely in West Virginia (see WV’s US Senators Lead the Charge to Build $10B NGL Storage Hub). The project, called the Appalachia Storage and Trading Hub, has already hired an engineering firm and has the backing of President Trump (see Pres. Trump Targets Marcellus/Utica to Bulk Up PetChem Industry). It’s estimated such a project would lead to the creation of 100,000 new jobs. Federal loan guarantees of $1.9 billion have been in the works for the massive project for several years (partially approved), but those loan guarantees may now be in jeopardy thanks to leftists.
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NY Bill Would Kill Thousands of Jobs to “Save the Climate”

There is a truly dreadful, jobs-killing piece of legislation in New York State that may get passed in the next few weeks. It’s called the Climate Community Protection Act (CCPA). The bill, if it becomes law, would mandate the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to eliminate all so-called greenhouse gas emissions from any major source in the state by 2050. The following manufacturing industries in the state would likely close and/or move out of the state: glass (say goodbye to Corning), steel, cement, auto, metal casting, food, pulp and paper, aluminum, plastics, ceramics and chemicals. Yeah, pretty much all of Upstate would close.
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Range Resources Lays Off 5% of Employees – PA Affected

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Business Times broke the news that Range Resources, one of the Marcellus/Utica’s biggest drillers (and in fact the very first driller to sink a Marcellus well, back in 2004), has laid off 40 employees–roughly 5% of its workforce. The layoffs are split between the company’s Pennsylvania and Texas operations.
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Pres. Trump Targets Marcellus/Utica to Bulk Up PetChem Industry

President Trump is pushing members of his administration to work with state regulators in Appalachia–Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania–to “build the country’s first natural gas and petrochemical hub” outside of the Gulf Coast. According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, such a plan is in the the country’s national security interests. Members of the Trump team are also having discussions with leftists like NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to try and convince him to allow pipelines into and through the state. If states like NY won’t allow it, Perry holds out the hope/threat that the feds will invoke the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause to make them.
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