CSU Study: Ohio Shale Industry Investment $78B and Counting

JobsOhio, a private, nonprofit corporation that works works on behalf of the state to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio by attracting business, contracts out economic research to Cleveland State University (CSU)–to keep tabs on the Utica Shale industry. Last year CSU researchers found that from 2011-2017 the Utica Shale had attracted an amazing $70 billion in new private sector energy investments (see Ohio Utica Attracts Amazing $70 Billion Investment…So Far). CSU is back with the latest numbers and has added another $7.7 billion to the pot for 2018, meaning total Utica investments from 2011 to the end of 2018 are nearly $78 billion!
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Gulfport Fires 13% of Workers, Ends Stock Buy-Back, Board Changes

Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays. A few weeks ago the company announced they are shopping some of their non-operated assets in the Ohio Utica (see Gulfport 3Q – Looking to Sell Non-Operated Utica Assets). This morning the company made another major announcement: They are laying off 13% of the workforce, ending (for now) their stock share buy-back program, and “refreshing” the board with three new members.
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Ohio’s Non-Drilling Counties Look to Profit from Utica Shale Too

Drilling is great for local counties when it arrives. Especially for the “supply chain” in those counties–companies that sell goods and services to drilling companies. Everything from retail to convenience stores to restaurants to hotels to trucking companies and more. But what about businesses in nearby counties without any drilling activity? Is there any way they can share in the bounty too? There sure is!
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The Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Oil & Gas Industry

Even though the oil and gas industry is currently going through another “down” cycle, make no mistake–some of the best and highest paying jobs in the country are still to be found in the fossil fuel industry. We have a list of the top 10 highest paying jobs below. We’ll state right up front they all require an advanced degree–bachelor’s degree or higher. But man oh man, do they pay! In 2018 some 1.5 million people were employed directly in the oil and gas industry, and another 1.2 million are employed in the closely-related power generation industry.
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Leidy South Compressors Generate $100M Economic Impact, 680 Jobs

Did you know that building just two new compressor stations in Pennsylvania will bring the state an extra $100 million in economic activity and support 680 direct, indirect and induced jobs? We sure didn’t! Last week Williams filed a newly published study with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the economic impact of their proposed Leidy South Expansion Project (full study embedded below). The study makes an irrefutable case for building the new compressor stations in Luzerne and Schuylkill counties.
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Shale Drilling Equipment Manufacturer Lays Off 45 in Altoona

In yet another sign of a slowdown in Marcellus/Utica drilling, a company that manufactures drilling equipment and fracking pumps, Gardner Denver, is laying off 45 employees at its plant located in Tipton, PA (near Altoona). That’s two-thirds of its local workforce. Why? According to a company rep, because of the slowdown in drilling and because of ongoing depressed gas prices.
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HB 1100 Would Bring Cracker-Type Investment to Northeast PA

In April, Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Turzai, Speaker of the House, and a group of conservative Republicans, announced a plan for the future of PA (see PA Republicans Launch “Energize PA” to Counter Wolf’s “Restore PA”). Called Energize PA, Turzai’s plan, as codified in eight bills he and others introduced, would “make it easier for companies to get environmental permits, encourage development on abandoned industrial sites, and make it cheaper to run natural gas lines to businesses.” One of the eight bills is House Bill (HB) 1100, a bill offering a tax incentive, a reduction in taxes, IF a company builds a new petrochemical plant in the state–particularly in the northeast “dry gas” area of the state.
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Cabot O&G Continues to Grow in NEPA, Opens New Facility

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Cabot Oil & Gas, one of our favorite Marcellus Shale drillers, focuses almost exclusively on drilling in Susquehanna County, PA, with a few wells in neighboring Wyoming County. Cabot continues to pour money into northeastern Pennsylvania. On Wednesday Cabot’s wholly-owned subsidiary, GasSearch Drilling Services, officially opened a new 28,000-square foot maintenance facility in Lenox Township (Susquehanna County) with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house for energy industry colleagues, neighbors and public officials.
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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

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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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