Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Meets with PTT re Cracker – Still No FID

PTT Ohio cracker site (click for larger version)

Near the end the year for the past 3-4 years we inevitably hear that PTT Global Chemical will not, as promised or implied, make a final investment decision (FID) about building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, Ohio, but that the FID will instead happen “next year.” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (RINO) met with PTT representatives yesterday to discuss the project. No announcements. No new promises. No FID announced. Another disappointment (cue George Michael song “Last Christmas”).
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FirstEnergy Loses OH Supreme Court Case to Block Referendum

The mafiosi at FirstEnergy lost their lawsuit filed with the Ohio Supreme Court in a bid to block a referendum aimed at giving all Ohio residents the right to vote to overturn an ill-conceived corporate welfare law passed that puts $1 billion into FirstEnergy’s pocket in order to keep two failing nuclear power plants open. Although they lost the case, FirstEnergy claims the Supreme Court decision is a “victory” for their attempt to keep their grubby hands on taxpayer’s money. How does that work?
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NEXUS and Rover Pipes Ask Stark County, OH for BIG Tax Cut

One of the selling points to make big interstate pipeline projects more palatable to the general public, at least in Ohio, has been the fact they pay annual property taxes. We can tell you from personal experience that a small pipeline in the Town of Windsor (NY, yes! NY) has meant lower property tax bills for MDN editor Jim Willis. Two very large pipeline projects in Ohio, Rover and NEXUS, are asking Stark County to reduce their assessments so they can pay less in taxes–up to 50% less.
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10 Colleges in PA-OH-WV Form Program to Train Cracker/Mfg Workers

A group of 10 community colleges scattered throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia have formed the Tristate Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, or TEAM, with the aim of training skilled workers for cracker plants and other petrochemical-related manufacturing operations. The cooperative has crafted a “stackable-credentials model” that offers “a career pathway from certifications to post-secondary degrees, up to and including a master’s degree.” Forwarding thinking!
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FERC Authorizes Startup for Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline

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. Risberg cost roughly $86 million to build and will flow 55 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of gas from the PA Marcellus to the northern tip of Ohio in Ashtabula County. In mid-November, RH energytrans, the builder, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start it up by Dec. 1 (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Ready to Start Dec. 1). FERC granted permission and as near as we can tell the pipeline is now up and running.
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OH Supremes Rule Landowners have 21 Yrs to Claim Lease Expiration

An interesting Ohio Supreme Court ruling from last week caught our attention, thanks to the legal beagles at Vorys. As with most of these cases, this one is complex. But we want to highlight *why* it’s important right up front: Landowners (or mineral rights owners, usually the one and the same but not always) have a longer period of time, 21 years, to bring an action to reclaim their severed mineral rights than the previously thought 15 years–in certain situations. That was the upshot in Browne v. Artex Oil Co.
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South Korea Buys 50% Stake in M-U’s UTOPIA Ethane Pipeline

UTOPIA route (click for larger version)

In January 2016, Kinder Morgan committed to building the UTOPIA (Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) pipeline, a 12-inch ethane pipeline that would run 286 miles across the state of Ohio where it would connect with another pipeline to flow Marcellus/Utica ethane all the way to a cracker plant in Canada (see Kinder Morgan Ready to Move Forward with UTOPIA East Pipeline). In January 2018 UTOPIA went online (see UTOPIA has Arrived! KM OH Pipe Flowing Ethane to Canadian Cracker). Kinder’s 50% joint venture partner in UTOPIA, Riverstone Holdings, announced yesterday it has sold its interest to a consortium of South Korean companies.
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Ohio Approves Duke Energy 14-Mile Cincinnati NatGas Pipe

Credit: Duke Energy

Duke Energy has a plan to build a critically-needed natural gas pipeline near Cincinnati, OH to replace an old pipeline built in the 1950s. Duke needs to replace the pipe or some of the half million Duke customers in the region won’t get natural gas any more. A group calling themselves NOPE–Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension, tried their best to defeat the project. We call them DOPEs–Dummies Opposing Pipeline Extension. The good news is that the DOPEs lost. Yesterday the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) gave Duke final approval to build the alternative route proposed by Duke for the project.
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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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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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Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Ready to Start Dec. 1

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). In October RH energytrans, the builder, said the project would be ready by Dec. 1 (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Almost Done, Ready by Dec. 1). And by golly, it is! Earlier this week RH energytrans asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start it up by Dec. 1.
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Dirt Being Moved at PTT Ohio Ethane Cracker Site – Still no FID

Credit: WTOV (click for larger version)

It’s that time of year again, when we hear rumors that PTT Global Chemical will make a final investment decision (FID) about their $7.5 billion ethane cracker project planned for Dilles Bottom in Belmont County, OH. The decision is always “coming soon.” Hopefully. Maybe. Any day now. But maybe not until next year. Can you tell we’ve grown weary of the rumors? This time it might (underscore MIGHT) be different. This time it’s not rumor but some action that caught our interest. Steubenville, Ohio TV station WTOV has video of dirt being pushed around at the site. Which we take to be a good omen.
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Ohio Commission Recommends Changes to Law re Fracking Public Land

In 2011 Ohio Gov. John Kasich (RINO) signed into law a provision to create the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission, a group to oversee drilling and fracking on state-owned land. Then Kasich refused to appoint members to the five-member commission, effectively skirting the law and imposing his own whacked moratorium on drilling on state-owned land. Why? Punishment for the industry refusing to endorse his obscene high severance tax rate. In 2017 under threat by the Republican legislature, Kasich finally relented and appointed the five members (see Ohio Gov Kasich About to Lose Power to Stop Drilling on State Land). The Commission just held its first meeting under new Gov. Mike DeWine (also a RINO). Commission members are proposing changes to the commission structure and to the law governing it.
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Gulfport 3Q – Looking to Sell Non-Operated Utica Assets

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. Gulport’s third quarter 2019 update shows the company produced 1,527.0 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) in 3Q19, up 7% from 1,427.5 MMcfe/d produced in 3Q18. The company lost $48.8 million (31 cents per share) in 3Q19. The biggest news, for us, is Gulfport’s announcement they are shopping some of their non-operated assets in the Ohio Utica.
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OH Lawmakers Plan to Block Foreign Ownership of Power Plants

We’re still feeling the fallout of FirstEnergy’s sleazy campaign to keep their $1 billion ratepayer bailout in Ohio. Last week we told you about FirstEnergy’s Mafia-like tactics in attempting to block petitioners from gathering signatures to overturn House Bill 6 that hands FirstEnergy $1 billion (see FirstEnergy Uses Questionable Tactics Against Referendum Workers). Part of FirstEnergy’s strategy was to gather signatures on a competing petition–aimed at confusing residents. It is that petition that is the subject of this post.
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Ohio Landowners Sue Encino Energy for Shorting Royalties

Landowners in Carroll and Columbiana counties (Ohio) have filed a class action lawsuit against Encino Energy claiming the company underpaid oil and natural gas royalties. 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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