PTT Delays Final Cracker Decision to at Least Middle of 2021

Once again PTT Global Chemical is changing the timeline for a final investment decision (FID) to build a $10 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH–for the umpteenth time. The most recent timeline had a decision coming by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year. Whoops, they did it again! The new timeline is now “at least the middle of 2021.”
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Is PTT Going to Build a Cracker in Belmont County, OH…or Not?

We have another article today that looks at a current issue from both sides–whether or not PTT Global Chemical will, in the end, build a $10 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, Ohio. We’ve written many articles about the potential PTT cracker plant since April 2015 when PTT, a huge petrochemical company based in Thailand, first announced they would consider building an ethane cracker plant in Ohio (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site).
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Gulfport, OH Landowner Settle Royalty Lawsuit re Monster Utica Wells

Back in 2012 Gulfport Energy drilled a pair of exceptional Utica wells in Belmont County, Ohio–both on the same pad. The first was the Shugert 1-1H which had an initial production (IP) rate of 20 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (Mmcf/d). It also produced an initial 144 barrels of condensate per day, and 2,002 barrels of natural gas liquids per day (see New ‘King’ of Utica Wells? Gulfport Shugert Well @ 20 Mmcf/d). The second was the Shugert 1-12H well, with an IP rate of 28.5 MMcf/d (see Gulfport’s New Utica Well Produces Mind-blowing 28.5 Mmcf/d!). Somewhere along the way, the Shugert family claimed Gulfport was making post-production royalty deductions it should not have taken.
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Trump Official Visits PTT OH Cracker Site, Pledges Full Support

DOE Deputy Sec. Mark Menezes at PTT cracker site (click for larger version)

Prior to joining EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in Pittsburgh to unveil rollbacks of egregious overregulation of methane by the Obama Administration (see today’s companion story), Deputy Secretary of Energy, Mark Menezes, first visited Belmont County, Ohio–at the site of the proposed PTT ethane cracker plant. Menezes was there to offer moral support from President Trump for the project. Menezes was recently confirmed (on Aug. 4) as Deputy Secretary of DOE. The PTT cracker site visit was Menezes’ first official visit (to anywhere) in his new role.
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PTT Signs Contract with Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub for OH Cracker

Just yesterday MDN told you about one expert’s view that there won’t be one massive NGL storage hub built in the Marcellus/Utica, but a number of smaller hubs (see Expert Says Massive Appalachian NGL Storage Hub Won’t Get Built). One of the smaller hubs we highlighted is the Mountaineer NGL Storage project. Lo and behold…yesterday PTT Global Chemical, the Thailand-based petrochemical giant seeking to build a giant ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, signed a contract with Mountaineer to use their NGL storage services when/if the mighty cracker gets built.
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PTT Loses Partner/Financial Backer for Ohio Cracker Plant Project

PTT Global Chemical yesterday issued a press release to say its major partner and financial backer for a planned $10 billion ethane cracker facility in Belmont County, OH–South Korea’s Daelim Chemical USA–has decided to pull out of the project. PTT said it remains committed to the project and will look for a new partner.
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OH Landowners Sue Rice, Ascent, XTO, Gulfport for Drilling Too Deep

Do you remember the child’s game called “Simon Says”? That’s what we were thinking when we read about a lawsuit in Ohio by landowners against a group of shale drillers. The lawsuit, initiated by several landowners in Belmont County, OH, claims the drillers drilled too deep–into the Point Pleasant rock layer–when the leases signed only mention the Utica rock layer. The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, claims “unjust enrichment” by the drillers.
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Belmont County, OH Landowner Group a Huge Success

MDN was launched in January 2009, during the heyday of leasing for shale drilling in the Marcellus/Utica region. One of our early focuses was to highlight lease deals by landowner coalitions. (Indeed, it was one such deal, in Deposit, NY, that inspired Jim Willis to begin writing MDN.) These days you don’t read or hear much about landowner coalitions because most properties are now leased (not all, but most). MDN friend Nicole Jacobs from Energy in Depth highlights a successful coalition in Belmont County, OH in a recent post.
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PTT Responds to “Indefinite Hold” on OH Cracker Decision

PTT Global Chemical, the huge Thailand-based petrochemical company looking to build a world-class ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, has botched its messaging about when it will make a final investment decision (FID) about moving forward with the project. The latest FID was supposed to be now, by the end of June this year (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). Then the company said the pandemic would delay the FID, without giving any kind of time frame. We referred to that as an “indefinite” delay (see PTT Postpones Ohio Cracker Final Investment Decision Indefinitely). PTT disputes that characterization. Did we get it wrong by labeling the FID delay as “indefinite”?
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PTT Further Delays Ohio Cracker Decision to 2021

In late April PTT Global Chemical, the huge Thailand-based petrochemical company looking to build a world-class ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, announced it would not make a final investment decision (FID) about whether to build the Ohio cracker by mid-2020 (see PTT Postpones Ohio Cracker Final Investment Decision Indefinitely). The company would not give a new timeline, which led us to conclude this is an indefinite delay.
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Barging Shale Wastewater on Ohio River Back on the Radar

In a piece of stellar investigative journalism and reporting, MDN friend Bob Downing (at Kallanish Energy) has broken a story that barging Marcellus and Utica Shale wastewater (brine) on the Ohio River is once again under active consideration. Downing discovered applications recently filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build three barge terminals in Ohio, all of them located near injection wells to handle barged shale wastewater.
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PTT Postpones Ohio Cracker Final Investment Decision Indefinitely

Last Friday PTT Global Chemical, the huge Thailand-based petrochemical company looking to build a world-class ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, issued an update for the project. In February PTT’s CEO signaled that a final investment decision (FID) on whether (or not) to build the project would happen by “mid-year 2020” (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). That is no longer the case, according to the latest company update.
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Hearing Delayed for 2 New Injection Wells in Belmont County, OH

Last year MDN told you about New Jersey-based Omni Energy Group and their application to build two new injection wells in Belmont County, OH near St. Clairsville (see Belmont County Injection Well Plan Stirs Opposition from Coal Co.). The proposal set off a firestorm of opposition, including opposition from Robert Murray and the Murray Energy Corporation–a coal miner who doesn’t like fair competition from natural gas. The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) was going to hold a virtual public meeting last Friday on Omni’s proposal–virtual because of the coronavirus. But at the last minute enemies of the injection well project, including Murray, convinced a Belmont County judge to put a temporary restraining order on the virtual meeting.
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PTT Cracker Project Reaches Tax Agreement with Belmont County, OH

Even amid the coronavirus pandemonium and economic destruction happening everywhere, important oil and gas (and petrochemical) projects continue to make progress. In particular, the PTT Global Chemical plan to build an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH still shows signs of life. In February PTT’s CEO signaled that a final investment decision on whether (or not) to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH is coming by “mid-year 2020” (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). While work to prep the site and get it ready is now paused, work behind the scenes continues. Last week Belmont County commissioners, Mead Township trustees and the Shadyside Board of Education approved a new deal on tax payments should the project get built. This is a major milestone.
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Will Shell Cracker Construction Delay Affect Ohio Cracker Timing?

Nearly two weeks ago Shell, at the prompting of local officials, shut down construction of the mighty ethane cracker plant the company is building in Beaver County, PA (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19). How long will construction be stopped? According to a Shell spokesman, “I have no timeline for a return at this time.” What if the work stoppage drags on for months? It could, potentially, have a domino effect on another nearby cracker project–across the river in Belmont County, Ohio.
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EQT Stops Fracking After Worker Gets COVID-19; Suspends Dividends

The Pittsburgh Business Times is reporting that a contractor working in EQT’s hydraulic fracturing (“completions”) operation who last worked at a site in Belmont County, OH has tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus. Because that worker has been in contact with a number of other workers in EQT’s completions unit, the company has temporarily shut down all completions (fracking) operations. In a separate and unrelated announcement, EQT told investors they are (for now) suspending quarterly dividend payments and will use the money instead to pay down near-term debt.
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