Bill to Bring Cracker-Type Investment to Northeast PA Resurrected

In April 2019, Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Turzai, Speaker of the House (who has since resigned and left), along with 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, the plan as codified in eight bills 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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Trump DOE Report Backs Cracker, Petchem Investment in Marc/Utica

In April 2019 President Trump issued an Executive Order instructing the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) to assess opportunities to promote growth in the Appalachian region. Yesterday a report was released by DOE doing just that. The 75-page report is titled “The Appalachian Energy and Petrochemical Renaissance: An Examination of Economic Progress and Opportunities” (full copy below). The report not only outlines petchem opportunities in the Marcellus/Utica, it makes recommendations to put those opportunities on steroids.
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Leftwing Academic Hacks Trash Talk PA, OH Cracker Plants

A group of leftwing radical professors (all of the Democrats) from seven universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania have colluded to write a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The letter trash talks the billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs ethane cracker plants and the petrochemical industry will have in the region. The leftist gang of seven poo-poos those estimates and says the proposed PTT cracker is too “risky” to approve. How do they figure?
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Chevron Cuts Another 80 Jobs in M-U; Still Looking for Buyer

Last December Chevron announced it was writing down the value of its Marcellus/Utica assets and putting those assets up for sale (see Chevron Writes Down $5B+ in Marc/Utica Assets, Looks to Sell All). Prior to the pandemic lockdown, Chevron said it would begin cutting 320 jobs in the M-U beginning early April (see Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th). The cuts continue with another 80 employees getting a pink slip this week.
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Workers Begin Returning to Shell Cracker Plant Construction Site

Add another 300 workers returned to work at the mighty Shell ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA this past Monday. This follows the lifting of a ban on construction activities by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. With the extra 300 workers back on the job, some 800 workers are now active at the site, just 10% of the 8,000 working on-site prior to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
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Halliburton Lays Off 1,000 Workers at Houston, TX HQ

In mid-March as the twin blows of the coronavirus pandemic and the Saudis and Russians decided to tank oil prices, Halliburton, the second-largest oilfield services company on the planet, announced it would furlough 3,500 workers for 60 days (see Oil Price War: Halliburton Furloughs 3,500 in Houston). Now comes word the company is laying off an additional 1,000 workers at company headquarters in Houston, Texas.
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Nuverra Environmental Cuts Budget 30%, Lays off 100 People

Nuverra Environmental Solutions (formerly Heckmann) is one of the largest companies in the United States that handles transportation and disposal of shale drilling wastewater and leftover rock and dirt from drilling. The company has major operations in the Marcellus/Utica region. Given that Nuverra’s customers, oil and gas drillers, are canceling work right and left meaning less work for Nuverra, the company announced it is laying off roughly 100 employees, cutting the salaries of everyone else, and slicing other non-essential expenses in an effort to ride out the coronavirus/oil price crash storm.
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Vallourec Announces Layoffs for One-Third of its U.S. Workers

Vallourec, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, manufactures steel pipes used in the oil and gas industry. The company employs some 19,000 people in 20 countries, including the U.S. In fact, Vallourec employs more than 750 at three Youngstown, Ohio units: Vallourec Star, VAM USA and Vallourec USA Corp. Yesterday Vallourec corporate headquarters announced it will reduce (layoff/eliminate) some 900 positions “across all plants as well as support functions.” That number, 900, represents over one-third of Vallourec’s total workforce and contractor positions in North America. The announcement implies all 900 of the positions being eliminated will happen in North America.
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What a National Ban on Fracking Would Mean in Real Numbers

We’re not anywhere close to being “through” the worst of the coronavirus siege. Yet the environmental left in this country is opportunistically using the virus to push for the end of oil AND natural gas use. It’s mindblowing how stupid they really are. They are blinded by their own wacko non-God environmental religion. As we begin to exit from the virus crisis, attention will once again return to the race for the U.S. presidency and to calls from a majority of the Democrat Party to slap a nationwide ban on fracking. What would that *really* mean, in dollars and cents and jobs? We have some numbers for you to mull over.
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Rig Count Drops Like a Rock, Biggest 1-Week Drop “in Decades”

Two weeks ago MDN told you about the biggest single-week drop in U.S. rig counts since the final week of December 2015–more than four years ago (see Biggest Rig Count Drop in 4 Years – Who’s Still Drilling?). Rigs dropped by 47 in a single week. That was then. Last week rigs dropped by another 64! NGI says it was “one of the largest down weeks in the past two decades.” Call it a new (and somber) record for the past 20 years. The good news, if there is any, is that the counts in the Marcellus/Utica remained the same week over week. Once again it seems that gas-focused shale plays are the beneficiary of the oil price crash as everyone assumes associated gas coming from shale oil plays will (sooner or later) dry up.
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PA Gov Wolf Vetoes Jobs-Creating Petchem Bill – Blames COVID-19

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf was less than honest when he vetoed House Bill (HB) 1100–a bill that would generate thousands of new jobs and cause money to pour into the PA economy by granting tax breaks (for a limited time) to companies willing to build *brand new* petrochemical plants ($450 million minimum investment) that use natural gas as the feedstock. In vetoing the bill on Friday, Wolf more or less blamed the coronavirus–even though he had promised to veto this bill in February, a month before the pandemic began in U.S. (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA)!
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New Study Says Petchem Tax Credit Bill Would “Transform” PA

Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1100, aimed at attracting new petrochemical investment to the state, was passed by the PA House and Senate earlier this year. The bill provides a tax incentive for companies to build NEW plants in the state that use Marcellus methane gas. HB 1100 was finally delivered to the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf last week (see PA Petchem Bill Delivered to Gov. Wolf – Will He Sign It?). Wolf previously stated (for whatever strange reason) he would veto the bill. Republicans, Democrats, businesses, and labor unions have all pressured Wolf to reconsider and sign the measure into law. Now comes a bit more pressure.
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PA Petchem Bill Delivered to Gov. Wolf – Will He Sign It?

Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1100, aimed at attracting new petrochemical investment to the state, was passed by the PA Senate in early February (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). HB 1100 provides a tax incentive for companies to build NEW plants in the state that use Marcellus methane gas. Inexplicably PA Gov. Wolf said he would veto the bill when it hits his desk (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). The Republican-controlled legislature held back from sending the bill to Wolf and for the past six weeks Republicans, Democrats, business and labor groups have conducted a high-pressure campaign to either force Wolf to sign it, or force Democrats in the legislature who voted for the bill the first time to vote for a veto override.
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