Ohio Democrats Float Bill to Cap Injection Wells at 23 per County

Liberal Democrat State Rep. Glenn Holmes (from Girard, Trumbull County, OH) is attempting to use a hammer to kill a fly. That is, he’s floating House Bill 723 to cap the number of injection wells at 23 per county, in an attempt to block a new injection well from getting built in Hubbard Township. Currently Trumbull County has 17 live and functioning wastewater injection wells. Five more are currently under construction. If the bill passes, it would prevent a newly-proposed well in Hubbard from getting built. Come here fly, see this hammer? Instead of debating the merits (or lack thereof) of the single well in Hubbard, how many wells are too many in Trumbull County, Holmes wants to limit injection wells everywhere in the state as his preferred solution. Right now Trumbull and Ashtabula counties are tied for the top spot with 17 active injection wells each. Nearby Portgage and Stark counties both have 16 injection wells. Meigs County, in southeast Ohio, has 14 active injection wells. Here’s the latest Democrat shenanigan aimed at stifling the Utica (and Marcellus) industry in Ohio…
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Squabbling Over 2nd Lordstown Utica-Fired Elec Plant Near an End

There is an ongoing legal squabble in Trumbull County, OH over a proposed second Utica gas-fired electric plant in Lordstown. Clean Energy Future (CEF) is currently building the Lordstown Energy Center, and has been since June 2016 (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). That project is 95% built. CEF proposed, and got the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to approve, plans to build a second Utica-fired plant next door to the first (see Ohio Approves 2 Utica-Fired Power Plants in Guernsey, Trumbull Counties). As is typically the case, CEF (the builder) sold most of the first project to investors. In this case the new majority owner for the first power plant is Macquarie, an international investment firm. CEF sued Macquarie last September saying Macquarie is preventing CEF from building the second plant. Macquarie says if a second plant gets built in the same location, the first plant (now owned by Macquarie) will take a $6.7 million hit on earnings each year. Macquarie wants CEF to pay them that amount annually when/if the second plant gets built. To which CEF says, “They’re looking for an extortion payment.” Even though the legal wrangling continues, it’s now close to resolution. Trumbull County Court ruled in favor of CEF, instructing Macquarie to sign paperwork allowing the second plant to get built, and to sell property owned by the first plant to the second plant (as provided for under the original contract). Macquarie has refused to sell the land. CEF has asked the court to find them in contempt and make them sell. CEF also wants Macquarie to pay them $130 million for delaying the second project for more than a year…
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Lordstown 2nd Gas-Fired Plant in Jeopardy from Trump Policy

The outspoken Bill Siderewicz, builder of a string of gas-fired electric generating plants in Ohio and elsewhere, is (surprise!) speaking out. Siderewicz, president of Boston-based Clean Energy Future, is the builder of the Lordstown Energy Center in Trumbull County, a project begun in 2016 and now nearing completion (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). The plant will generate 940 megawatts of electricity when it goes online. In addition to the Lordstown plant, Siderewicz has plans to build a second plant right next to the first. Except maybe now it won’t get built. President Trump’s Dept. of Energy, under Secretary Rick Perry, is hellbent on devising a scheme to “protect” coal-fired and nuclear electric generating plants–in the name of grid resiliency and national security. It’s bogus. We’ve previously written that we do not support it. Neither does Siderewicz. He calls Trump’s energy policy “un-American,” and said, “Everyone [who] has an IQ of more than 25 is upset about this.” Ouch. Tell us what you really think, Bill! The reason he’s upset: If you make the electricity market noncompetitive by favoring certain types of energy sources, there are consequences. Plants like the second Lordstown Energy Center, and the close-to-one billion dollars it takes to build it (and the tax revenues that flow from it) won’t materialize. If you favor coal and nukes, making their more expensive form of electricity artificially cheaper (by using government subsidies), then those who compete freely, like Siderewicz, can no longer compete. The markets are not truly free. And people like Siderewicz decide to not build these important projects…
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Fracking Acid Leaks from Truck in Ohio, Forces Brief Evacuation

A spill of hydrochloric acid on Monday in Weathersfield (Trumbull County), Ohio caused a brief evacuation of three hours for 23 homes and several businesses in the area. Nobody was hurt. The acid was stored in a tanker truck. The trucking company, Predator Trucking, is headquartered in Texas but maintains a regional operation in Weathersfield. Predator is a shale subcontractor hauling various liquids, including hydrochloric acid, used in fracking. The truck in question has two chambers that hold 2,500 gallons each. A valve became corroded on one of the chambers and while the truck was parked at the company’s facility, all 2,500 gallons leaked out. It created a vapor cloud and the concern was that it may shift, hence the evacuations, out of “an abundance of caution.” This accident points out one of the negatives of fracking. Oil and gas extraction is an industrial process that uses industrial chemicals hauled by trucks to drill sites. If a truck gets in an accident, or there is equipment failure, bad things can happen. But we hasten to add, in having observed and written about the Marcellus/Utica for nearly 10 years now, this is the first such incident we can recall of hydrochloric acid leaking. In other words, this type of accident is extremely rare. And thanks to the fast action of local first responders, there were no injuries. The acid was contained inside temporary dams, and soaked up with sand. The dirt the acid leaked into has been dug up and removed. Predator is now on the hook to pick up the cost–which no doubt will be considerable…
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“Strong” Well Results in Northern Utica During 1Q18

As MDN reports in today’s lead story, Ohio has just achieved a new milestone by producing more natural gas than the state has ever produced during the first three months of this year (see Top 25 Producing Gas & Oil Wells in Ohio Utica for 1Q18). The best performing individual wells are located in the southern part of the Utica play–in Belmont, Jefferson, Monroe, and Guernsey counties. However, don’t overlook the wells and overall performance of counties in the northern part of the play–places like Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties. Particularly Columbiana County. The Youngstown Business Journal does a deep dive into the numbers for the northern tier counties and finds that wells drilled by Hilcorp in Columbiana produced “strong results” in 1Q18. Here’s a closer look at the northern Utica counties and the drillers who work there…
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Lordstown, OH Power Plant Investor Tries to Block 2nd Plant

Be careful who you sell your energy projects to. That’s the lesson we take away from a spat that’s developed in Trumbull County, OH over a proposed second Utica gas-fired electric plant in Lordstown. Clean Energy Future (CEF) is currently building the Lordstown Energy Center, and has been since June 2016 (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). CEF then proposed, and got the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to approve, plans to build a second Utica-fired plant next door to the first (see Ohio Approves 2 Utica-Fired Power Plants in Guernsey, Trumbull Counties). As is typically the case, CEF (the builder) sold most of the first project to investors. In this case the new majority owner for the first power plant is Macquarie, an international equity firm. CEF sued Macquarie in September saying the company is preventing CEF from building the second plant. Macquarie says if a second plant gets built in the same location, the first plant (now owned by Macquarie) will take a $6.7 million hit on earnings each year. Macquarie wants CEF to pay them that amount annually when/if the second plant gets built. To which CEF says, “They’re looking for an extortion payment.” CEF is threatening to sue Macquarie for $100 million for delaying construction. A judge will now decide if construction can proceed and whether or not CEF will need to make annual payments to Macquarie…
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Trumbull Co. Residents Rally to Oppose 3 New Injection Wells

Town of Brookfield – Trumbull County, OH

Last December MDN told you about three proposed new injection wells planned for the Town of Brookfield, in Trumbull County, OH (see 3 More Injection Wells Coming to Trumbull County, OH). Highland Field Services (subsidiary of Seneca Resources/National Fuel Gas Company) brought two new injection wells online in Brookfield last year. Shortly after the two wells went online, Highland then floated a plan to build three more wells in close proximity to the existing two, a plan opposed by many in the town. Even though Brookfield Township trustees issued a “no more injection wells” letter to Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR), the ODNR ignored the letter and two weeks ago issued the necessary permits to build the three additional new wells (see ODNR Grants Permits for 3 New Injection Wells in Trumbull County). Last Thursday a group of town residents staged a rally against the three new injection wells. Do they have valid concerns?…
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ODNR Grants Permits for 3 New Injection Wells in Trumbull County

Town of Brookfield, Trumbull County, OH

Last December MDN told you about three proposed new injection wells planned for the Town of Brookfield, in Trumbull County, OH (see 3 More Injection Wells Coming to Trumbull County, OH). Highland Field Services (subsidiary of Seneca Resources) brought two new injection wells online in Brookfield last year (see ODNR Approves Plans for 2 New Trumbull County Injection Wells). Shortly after the two wells went online, Highland then floated a plan to build three more wells in close proximity to the existing two, a plan opposed by many in the town (see Trumbull Residents Want Extra 60 Days to Fight 3 Injection Wells). Even though Brookfield Township trustees issued a “no more injection wells” letter to Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR), the ODNR ignored the letter and last week issued the necessary permits to build the three additional new wells…
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Pin Oak Zigs to North Utica as Everyone Else Zags to South Utica

Pin Oak Energy Partners is an interesting company. As we reported in early February, the company recently closed on several deals to acquire 70,000 Utica acres in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, adding to its portfolio (see Pin Oak Energy Buys 70K Utica Acres in OH & PA + Pipeline Assets). The new acreage (and producing well assets) is located in Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. Neither were the names of the sellers. However, we now have a pretty good idea of who did the selling: Halcon Resources and BP. We have some new insights into the thinking and strategy of Pin Oak by zigging (concentrating on the northern Utica) when it seems everyone else is zagging–abandoning the northern tier for the better-yielding southern Utica…
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Pin Oak Energy Buys 70K Utica Acres in OH & PA + Pipeline Assets

Pin Oak Energy Partners has just more than doubled the leased acreage it owns in the Marcellus/Utica, adding 70,000 Utica acres in both Ohio and Pennsylvania to its portfolio. MDN previously ran several stories about this relatively new entrant to our region (see our Pin Oak Energy stories here). While Pin Oak is a “new” company, the people running it have been around. CEO Chris Halvorson says Pin Oak is comprised of folks who were formerly with AB Resources. You may recall that AB Resources built a position in the southwestern “core” of the Marcellus and sold out to Chevron several years ago. Pin Oak is “what’s next” for for the former AB folks. Their target: the Appalachian basin. They buy both conventional and unconventional wells and acreage. Pin Oak announced yesterday that in a series of transactions with various sellers (all unnamed, amounts not disclosed), the company picked up a total of 70,000 acres in Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania. They also bought gas processing facilities and “multiple taps” into interstate gas pipelines, including two taps into the mighty Tennessee Gas Pipeline. Here’s the details on the purchase, which includes 33 conventional wells that target the Knox formation in southern OH…
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Trumbull Residents Want Extra 60 Days to Fight 3 Injection Wells

Last Friday MDN told you about three proposed new injection wells planned for the Town of Brookfield, in Trumbull County, OH (see 3 More Injection Wells Coming to Trumbull County, OH). Highland Field Services recently brought two new injection wells online in Brookfield, and now wants to build three more wells in close proximity to the existing two. Highland recently published notices in area newspapers eliciting public comments–a step required under law. Public comments will be accepted until Dec. 25. However, some residents in the area (and likely a number of antis) are complaining that’s not enough time. They want the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) to extend the public comment period by an extra 60 days. They also want at least one public hearing (i.e. circus freak show) in order to get in front of cameras and microphones to make a scene. The update below seems to say the existing two Highland injection wells are still under construction. We believed (perhaps incorrectly) the two were already done and running. Comments by unnamed “opponents” appear to indicate they are still lobbying ODNR to prevent the two already-permitted Highland wells (now under construction) from actually going online–to say nothing of approving another three…
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3 More Injection Wells Coming to Trumbull County, OH

Back in June MDN shared some good news for Utica (and Marcellus) drillers: The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) had approved permits for two new frack wastewater injection wells in Trumbull County, OH (see ODNR Approves Plans for 2 New Trumbull County Injection Wells). The injection wells are located in the town of Brookfield. ODNR attached a myriad of conditions and required all sorts of testing before the wells could go live but go live they did (we do not have confirmation those two wells are finished). Highland Field Services, the company that built (is building) those two wells, now wants to add another three to mix. Highland recently published notices in area newspapers eliciting public comments (required under law). Comments will be accepted until Dec. 25. Area residents are not happy about three more injection wells on top of the existing two…
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Ohio Approves 2 Utica-Fired Power Plants in Guernsey, Trumbull Counties

Last week the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) approved two new Utica-gas powered electric plants, and authorized the expansion of a third plant to a bigger size. The OPSB approved the Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for (surprise!) Guernsey County, OH (see New Utica-Powered Electric Plant Proposed for Guernsey County, OH). OPSB also approved the Trumbull Energy Center project, a new plant proposed by Clean Energy Future for (surprise!) Trumbull County (see Details on Newly Announced Trumbull Energy Center Electric Plant). That second one may or may not sound familiar. Clean Energy is already building an electric generating plant in Trumbull County–in Lordstown, called the Lordstown Energy Center (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). Clean Energy proposed building a second plant right next to the first one (see Details on Newly Announced Trumbull Energy Center Electric Plant). We suppose Clean Energy could have called the second plant Lordstown Energy Center II, but instead they elected to call it Trumbull Energy Center. Two plants, side by side, built by the same company–now approved by OPSB. The OPSB also approved a request by Clean Energy to expand the already-under-construction Lordstown plant, from 800 megawatts to 940 megawatts. Here’s the lowdown on what got approved, and where it’s all located…
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No Objections at Columbus Hearing on Lordstown NatGas Elec Plant

It looks like the trouble Vienna Investments tried to make for Clean Energy Future in wanting to build a second natural gas-fired electric generating plant in the same office park where the first is being built (near a building owned by Vienna) has amounted to nothing. Bupkis. The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) held a public hearing at the local high school in July, to accept public comments on the second power plant (see Investment Firm Opposing Trumbull Energy Center Slinks Out of Mtg). Residents from around the community turned out in force–to support the project. More than 200 people crammed the auditorium (standing room only). Two representatives from Vienna Investments (attorneys) were registered to speak, but when their names were called, they “retreated” from the room. A second and final public hearing was held yesterday in Columbus, OH, before an administrative law judge. Nobody turned up to talk against the project. In fact, on Wednesday, Vienna withdrew their original objection to the second plant. End of story. The second plant will now get built, once the state approves it…
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New Marcellus/Utica Driller Snaps Up Assets in OH, PA

It’s not often these days we get to announce a new driller in the Marcellus/Utica. Today is one of those days. Actually, this company has been around since early 2015, but we’re only now becoming aware of them. Pin Oak Energy Partners, headquartered in Akron, OH, is an exploration and production company engaged in both conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas wells and the operation of associated assets (like pipelines). Pin Oak currently operates 363 wells producing nearly 5.7 MMcfe/d (32% liquids) across more than 32,000 acres in the Marcellus/Utica region. The company is also involved in midstream, field services and operations through its affiliate companies. Pin Oak is on an aggressive acquisition binge of shale AND midstream assets, as well as leasing new acreage. Who is Pin Oak? According to CEO Chris Halvorson, Pin Oak is comprised of folks who were formerly with AB Resources. You may recall that AB Resources built a position in the southwestern “core” of the Marcellus and sold out to Chevron several years ago. Pin Oak is “what’s next” for for the former AB folks. Their target: the Appalachian basin. In July, Pin Oak bought 9,300 acres of leases and 8 Utica wells from EQT in Guernsey, Muskingum, and Columbiana counties (Ohio). Earlier this week Pin Oak announced they’ve purchased another 7,700 acres of leases and 10 Utica wells from an undisclosed seller in Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Mahoning counties (in Ohio) and Mercer, Crawford and Venango counties (in Pennsylvania). Below are two recent announcements. Pin Oak can be summed up in one word: aggressive. Keep a close eye on this company in the coming months and years…
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Investment Firm Opposing Trumbull Energy Center Slinks Out of Mtg

Last week MDN told you about opposition from a neighbor in an industrial park in Lordstown (Trumbull County, OH) to a proposal by Clean Energy Future to build a second natural gas-fired electric plant next door to one already under construction now (see Investment Firm Threatens 2nd Lordstown Electric Plant, $30B @ Risk). The two Lordstown Energy Center plants will result in an estimated $60 BILLION of economic activity locally–a staggering number. Inexplicable opposition from Vienna Investments, the landlord/owner of a building that houses a car seat manufacturer in the industrial park where the plants will get built, is threatening to block the second plant, putting $30 billion in jeopardy. The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) held a public hearing at the local high school on Tuesday night, to accept public comments on the second power plant. Residents from around the community turned out in force–to support the project. More than 200 people crammed the auditorium (standing room only). Of the 25 who spoke, only a few expressed mild concerns about the project–about water runoff in a local creek. Yes, there were two representatives from Vienna Investments (attorneys)–both registered to speak. According to an eye witness MDN had on location, “they retreated from the room quietly and did not speak when their names were called.” Our source speculates they elected to not talk after hearing overwhelming support from the crowd. Cowards. Hopefully the overwhelming support shown by the local community will put the issue to rest, and Ohio will approve the second project without delay…
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