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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Investment Firm Threatens 2nd Lordstown Electric Plant, $30B @ Risk

Update: 7/19/17: An MDN subscriber with inside knowledge of what’s happening wrote to MDN to clarify our post. Magna Seating is the car seat manufacturer. They LOVE Clean Energy Future and both plants. In fact, Magna’s union shop chairman has said he will testify in favor of CEF’s second plant at the public hearing being held next Tuesday, July 25th. However, the landlord that owns the building Magna works in–Vienna Investments–is the one attempting to make trouble for CEF in building a second plant. Here’s the kicker: Vienna knew about CEF’s plans for the second plant BEFORE they bought the building Magna works in. Stands to reason if Vienna had an objection, they might have expressed it when they bought the building–or would not have purchased it in the first place. Which makes us wonder, what game is Vienna playing? Why are they objecting now?

Last June, Clean Energy Future broke ground on the Lordstown (Trumbull County, OH) Energy Center, a Utica Shale-powered electric generating plant that is projected to contribute nearly $1 billion to the local economy (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). Clean Energy Future has also committed to building a second billion-dollar plant at the same location (see Lordstown, OH May Get Second Utica Gas-Powered Electric Plant). According to local economic officials, the two plants, over the next 30 years, will contribute a staggering (incomprehensible!) $60 BILLION to the local economy. We simply don’t have words for this kind of econ benefit for a community like Lordstown and Trumbull County. So it’s understandable that the action of a neighbor in the same industrial park where the plants will get built–a neighbor that manufactures car seats for Chevrolets–is threatening to undo half of that economic benefit by filing to “intervene” in the project with the Ohio Siting Board, regarding the second proposed Utica Shale-powered electric plant. It seems Vienna Investments, which owns the car seat manufacturing plant, is concerned about unspecified “safety” issues with construction of the second plant. Local officials, and the editorial board of Youngstown Vindicator, are somewhat alarmed and “encouraging” (pressuring) Vienna to come clean now about what they’re really concerned about, so it can be addressed and not derail the second plant (and $30 billion worth of income for the region)…
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ODNR Approves Plans for 2 New Trumbull County Injection Wells

Some good news for Utica (and Marcellus) drillers: The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) has just approved permits for two new frack wastewater injection wells in Trumbull County, OH. Which doesn’t make the local anti-fracking nutters with FrackFree America happy. One of them calls the approvals “immoral.” She’s calling on the company building the wells, Highland Field Resources, to “abandon its plans.” (chuckle) The wells will be built in the town of Brookfield. ODNR has attached a myriad of conditions and required testing before the wells can go live. Here’s the immoral details…
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Radical Enviro Group Sues Warren Frack Wastewater Plant

The Fresh Water Accountability Project, an anti-fracking group based in Michigan, has filed a frivolous lawsuit against the Patriot Water Treatment facility and the City of Warren, OH, claiming they are processing frack chemicals at their plants that don’t get processed enough–and consequently get released into the Mahoning River. This is not Patriot Water’s first time in court. Patriot has had a long-running feud with the Ohio EPA and Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR)–a feud that goes all the way back to 2011 (see MDN’s string of Patriot Water stories here). Patriot processes frack wastewater at it’s Warren plant and then disposes of the wastewater by using the local Warren municipal sewage treatment plant. That is, Patriot strips out all of the really nasty stuff, and then the sewage plant finishes off the process and the water is then released into the Mahoning River, near Youngstown. The OH EPA and ODNR pulled Patriot’s permits to operate for a four-month period in 2012, but Patriot sued and won the right to continue operating, sending their wastewater to the sewage plant. Everything is legal. So now a non-profit group, Fresh Water Accountability Project, is going to try and shut down Patriot with a new lawsuit. If Fresh Water Accountability loses, can we shut them down? At the very least, their tax-exempt status should be stripped away for engaging in overtly political activities…
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81% of 2016 Ohio Valley Investment Came from One Natgas Project

Artist’s rendering of Lordstown Energy Center – click for larger version

We spotted a story that seemed to us like the Ohio Valley was doing some justified bragging about investment in the region during 2016. Recently, the “Youngstown/Warren, Ohio Economic Development 2016 Report Card” was released. The Report Card was a joint effort of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, OhioMeans-Jobs, the cities of Warren and Youngstown, the Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown State University. The Report Card found that 111 projects led to a whopping investment of $1.1 billion–in 2016! Or at least you can say, that much money was committed in 2016. Some of the actual spending was made last year, some this year, likely some over the next several years. But hey, let’s not split hairs. This is an achievement to crow about. But when you look at the project list, one project accounts for 81% of the total–the Lordstown Energy Center. The $890 million Lordstown Energy Center is an electric generation plant planned for Lordstown (Trumbull County), OH that will be powered with Utica Shale gas. The project won village approval in the summer of 2015 (see Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets Village Approval). It then won state approval in the fall of 2015 (see Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets OH State Approval). The project broke ground in June 2016 (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). Our point: Without deregulated electric markets in Ohio, and without the Utica and Marcellus Shale, the Ohio Valley investment last year would have been, at best, $220 million, not $1.1 billion…Continue reading

Details on Newly Announced Trumbull Energy Center Electric Plant

Yesterday MDN ran an important story about 10 proposed (or already under construction) Utica Shale gas-powered electric plants planned for Ohio (see List of 10 Utica-Powered Electric Plant Projects Coming to Ohio). Tucked in the list of 10 projects is a brand new project, officially announced just yesterday, in Trumbull County. MDN readers already know about this project. Last June, Massachusetts-based Clean Energy Future broke ground on their $800 million, 940-megawatt Utica gas-fired electric plant in Lordstown (Trumbull County), OH (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). Construction is under way and the plant will go online in 2018. In February of last year, MDN reported that the owner of the Lordstown Energy Center project, Clean Energy Future, was considering building a second plant at the same site (see Lordstown, OH May Get Second Utica Gas-Powered Electric Plant). The rumor was correct. In November, one of the companies partnering on the project, Fluor Corporation, spilled the beans and announced the second power plant, to be called the Trumbull Energy Center, would indeed get built. However, the project’s main sponsor, Clean Energy, has been mum on the project–until now. Yesterday afternoon the project was officially announced. We have the particulars on this new, second power plant that will be bigger than its older twin…
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