Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Feb 15-19

All three M-U states received permits to drill new shale wells last week. Pennsylvania received 10 new permits. Ohio received 6 new permits. And West Virginia received 3 new permits.
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PTT Says Recent Reports of Ohio Cracker Decision Delay “Not True”

Last November we brought you the news that PTT Global Chemical was changing the timeline (again) for a final investment decision (FID) to build a $10 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, this time to the middle of 2021 (see PTT Delays Final Cracker Decision to at Least Middle of 2021). Late last week rumors began to swirl following an article in the Bangkok Post that PTT has delayed the FID beyond mid-year. PTT was quick to respond and say that’s “just not true.”
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Construction Continues at Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant in Ohio

Guernsey Power Station under construction (credit: Daily Jeffersonian)

From time to time we check in on the Guernsey Power Station, a mammoth 1,875-megawatt Marcellus/Utica gas-fired electric generating station being built in southern Guernsey County in Ohio. As near as we can tell, it is the biggest natgas-fired plant anywhere, period. We spotted a story about work being done to extend a sewer line to the plant, meaning the project remains active and on track to come online in the fall of 2022.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Feb 8-12

All three M-U states received permits to drill new shale wells last week. Pennsylvania received 16 new permits. Ohio received 3 new permits. And West Virginia received 4 new permits.
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MDN Interview: CEO of Plastics Industry Assoc. LOVES Shale Energy

Tony Radoszewski

The 8th Annual Utica Downstream Conference will be held on Feb. 25 in Canton, OH. MDN editor Jim Willis had the opportunity to interview one of the keynote speakers, Tony Radoszewski, President & CEO of the Plastics Industry Association, in December. Tony assumed the role of president & CEO in early 2020, just prior to the pandemic. Jim spoke to Tony about his upcoming talk, to get some insights into the state of the plastics industry in America in general, and in the Appalachian Basin in particular. It was a fascinating discussion.
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Ohio’s Utica Shale – An “Underappreciated Economic Machine”

Aubrey McClendon, the co-founder of Chesapeake Energy and the guy most responsible for discovering and commercializing the Ohio Utica Shale, once famously said the Utica “is the best thing to hit the state of Ohio economically since maybe the plow.” And indeed it has been. The Utica is often overshadowed by its larger and more productive cousin the Marcellus Shale. According to Mike Chadsey from the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, the Utica has never really gotten the level of attention and respect it deserves.
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Generation Now Pleads Guilty in $61M FirstEnergy OH Nuke Scandal

On Friday, representatives of a “dark money” political action committee called Generation Now signed a guilty plea admitting their part in the biggest bribery scandal to ever hit Ohio. Generation Now was set up as a social welfare nonprofit but in reality was a shell organization that received “tens of millions of dollars” from FirstEnergy as part of a $61 million bribery scandal to pass and keep passed House Bill (HB) 6 which funnels over $1 billion from Ohio ratepayers to FirstEnergy in order to keep the company’s unprofitable nuclear power plants running.
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How Biden’s Drilling Ban on Federal Lands Affects the M-U

On Joe Biden’s first day in occupying the White House, he signed an Executive Order (EO) suspending new oil and gas leasing while the Interior Department reviews existing leases and permitting practices for 60 days. The aim is to make the federal lease ban permanent. However, some permits on existing leases will continue to be issued during the 60-day review period. You may think Biden’s federal lease ban does not affect the Marcellus/Utica region. You would be wrong.
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Monroe County, OH Developing Ohio River Site to Help Utica Shale

Clarington, OH

The Monroe County, OH Port Authority has scored close to $3 million in grants and loans to fund a development project located at a former CONSOL Energy coal mining site south of Clarington, OH. The money will be used to build an access road and repair eight of 12 existing barge cells on the Ohio River. The end game is to “lease the property to companies that provide support services to the shale gas industry.”
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Ohio AG Succeeds in Blocking $2B in Nuke Payments to FirstEnergy

Ohio AG Dave Yost

We continue to peel back the layers of the rotten, smelly, stinky onion that is Ohio’s House Bill (HB) 6, a law granting billions (plural) to FirstEnergy in an attempt to prop up the company’s economically failing nuclear power plants. FirstEnergy is accused of bribing legislators to pass, and keep passed, HB 6 by paying out $60 million (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). It is the biggest bribery scandal in Ohio history. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has been hammering FirstEnergy with lawsuits since the bribery scandal was first revealed. It looks like Yost (and consequently Ohio residents AND the Ohio Utica Shale industry) has won.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Jan 25-29

All three M-U states received permits to drill new shale wells last week. Pennsylvania received 22 new permits. Ohio received 2 new permits. And West Virginia received 8 new permits.
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OH Shale Crescent USA: Not Letting Biden’s Attacks Slow Them Down

In 2016 a group of business and government leaders from Ohio and West Virginia in the Mid-Ohio Valley banded together to form an economic development group called Shale Crescent USA, or SCUSA (see Group Promotes Mid-Ohio Valley for Petrochem: Shale Crescent USA). The aim of the group is to attract manufacturers (particularly petrochemical manufacturers) to set up shop in the region, close to the most abundant supplies of cheap natural gas in the entire world. The leaders of SCUSA aren’t letting the withering attacks of Joe Biden on the oil and gas sector slow them down.
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Diversified Gas & Oil Buys 5 Utica Shale Wells in Monroe County, OH

Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) owns close to 8 million acres of leases with some 60,000 (mostly) conventional oil and gas wells. Their focus has been to acquire quality production and cash flow–regardless of the well or commodity type (gas or oil)–in the Appalachian Basin. DGO currently owns over 400 Marcellus/Utica shale wells in their portfolio too. The company just added to their inventory of shale wells, closing on the purchase of five Utica Shale wells in Monroe County, OH. The purchase price for all five? $8.4 million.
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Liens Served on PA/OH Landowner Property re Risberg Pipeline

click for larger version

In March 2019 MDN brought you the news that Wood Group had been awarded a $34 million contract to build 28 miles of the 60-mile Risberg Pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Ashtabula County, OH (see Wood Wins $34M Contract to Build PA to OH Risberg Pipeline). The portion Wood built was new “greenfield” pipeline. The rest of the pipeline (32 miles) already existed and was repurposed. There is a controversy between Wood and RH energytrans (the owner) concerning payment, so Wood is going after the landowners whose property the pipeline traverses.
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Mountaineer NGL Storage Looks at Non-NGL Hydrogen Storage

Here’s an interesting twist. Just last week we told you about ongoing opposition from anti-fossil fuelers to a currently dormant project, the Mountaineer NGL Storage hub project in Monroe County, OH (see Opposition to Dormant Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub in Monroe, OH). Mountaineer wants to build an underground storage cavern to hold natural gas liquids, primarily ethane, for customers like PTT Global Chemical–if PTT ever decides to build a cracker plant in nearby Belmont County, OH. But what’s this? Now Mountaineer is considering an alternative–storing hydrogen.
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Opposition to Dormant Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub in Monroe, OH

Last fall Mountaineer NGL Storage, a $500 million project in Monroe County to build underground storage for ethane and other NGLs, asked Ohio to cancel a key permit for the project (see Mountaineer Asks Ohio to Cancel NGL Storage Hub Permits). Our understanding is that until PTT Global Chemical makes a final decision to build an ethane cracker in nearby Belmont County, OH, Mountaineer is not ready to proceed. The two projects will move along together. When PTT announces, Mountaineer will reapply for the permit. Yet anti-fossil fuelers actively continue to make a fuss, making untrue statements about the project and its impacts on the region’s environment.
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