Short Pipeline from NW Pa. to NE Ohio May Not Get Done This Year

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Last October MDN brought you details about the proposed $86 million Risberg Line pipeline project (see New 60-Mile Pipeline Proposed from NW Pa. to NE Ohio). The project will use approximately 32 miles of existing pipeline in an established Right of Way originating in the Meadville, PA area. Approximately 16 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Pennsylvania and approximately 12 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Ohio–meaning 28 miles of brand new “greenfield” pipeline needs to get built. In early May, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said it will issue an environmental assessment (EA) for the project on or by June 29th (see FERC Review of Risberg Pipeline in NE OH/NW PA Coming June 29). Both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the PA Fish and Boat Commission are “cooperating agencies” and part of the EA review process. Following the EA, the clock will begin ticking and FERC will have until Sept. 27th to make a final decision about the project. The original timeline for the project, from the beginning, has been to have it all built and operating by the end of this year. The builder, RH energytrans, is now cautioning that may not happen. Why? Because one never knows with regulatory agencies like FERC and the Army Corps and the Boat Commission. Deadlines come and go and get extended. FERC says the dates they given are targets and not carved in stone. If everything happened as FERC laid out, RH says it would be a challenge, but they can probably get the job done this year. But if the deadline slips, all bets are off…
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FERC Review of Risberg Pipeline in NE OH/NW PA Coming June 29

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Last October MDN brought you details about the proposed $86 million Risberg Line pipeline project (see New 60-Mile Pipeline Proposed from NW Pa. to NE Ohio). The project will use approximately 32 miles of existing pipeline in an established Right of Way originating in the Meadville, PA area. Approximately 16 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Pennsylvania and approximately 12 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Ohio–meaning 28 miles of brand new “greenfield” pipeline needs to get built. Two school districts in Ohio where the pipeline will traverse agreed to reduce the amount of property tax the pipeline would need to pay by 75% over a 15-year period, a huge vote of confidence (see Update on Proposed 60-Mile Pipeline from NW Pa. to NE Ohio). We have an update on the project. On Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said it will issue an environmental assessment (EA) for the project on or by June 29th. Both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are “cooperating agencies” and part of the EA review process. Following the EA, the clock will begin ticking and FERC will have until Sept. 27th to make a final decision about the project…
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Update on Proposed 60-Mile Pipeline from NW Pa. to NE Ohio

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We have some progress to report, and a pair of public hearings coming up, for a pipeline project proposed to run from Meadville, PA area (Crawford County) and extend in a northwest direction to Ashtabula County, OH. Three weeks ago MDN brought you details about the proposed Risberg Line Project, to be built by RH energytrans (see New 60-Mile Pipeline Proposed from NW Pa. to NE Ohio). The project will use approximately 32 miles of existing pipeline in an established Right of Way originating in the Meadville, PA area. Approximately 16 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Pennsylvania and approximately 12 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Ohio–meaning 28 miles of brand new “greenfield” pipeline needs to get built. The new news that we’ve learned is that two school districts in Ohio where the pipeline will traverse have agreed to reduce the amount of property tax the pipeline would need to make by 75% over a 15-year period. That’s a huge vote of confidence. We also learn that around 100 Erie and Ashtabula county property owners have already signed easements to allow the pipeline across their property. While no pipeline project anywhere in the northeast has a smooth ride, this one certainly seems to be sailing right along. Perhaps the first test of whether or not anti-fossil fuel nutters will begin to oppose it will come at a pair of public hearings for the project–one on Dec. 5 in Conneaut, OH, and the other Dec. 6 in Edinboro, PA…
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New 60-Mile Pipeline Proposed from NW Pa. to NE Ohio

Correction: Please note the correction below. Opatho Gas Trans LLC is not owned by EmKey Energy, et al. Our understanding was in error. RH energytrans contacted MDN to correct the record. We appreciate it!

A new 60-mile pipeline is being proposed by a new pipeline company, to connect shale production in northwest Pennsylvania to markets in northeast Ohio. Last week RH energytrans filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the Risberg Line Project. The route will begin in the Meadville, PA area (Crawford County) and extend in a northwest direction to Ashtabula County, OH. The project will use approximately 32 miles of existing pipeline in an established Right of Way originating in the Meadville, PA area. Approximately 16 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Pennsylvania and approximately 12 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Ohio. According to RH energytrans, there is a need for additional natural gas supplies in the Ashtabula area to enhance future commercial business development and as a backup for residential customers. The pipeline will provide 55 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas to Ashtabula. RH energytrans, with offices in Erie, PA, is owned by Opatho Gas Trans LLC. In a case of Russian matryoshka (nesting) dolls, Opatho is owned by EmKey Energy, Viking Energy Broker and Nucomer Energy. EmKey has pipeline operations in both PA and NY, so you might say (with some justification) that this is a project of EmKey. Corrected: Opatho is owned by three Norwegian companies: Solodden AS, Vicsund AS, and Hellberg Eiendom AS. Opatho has some owners in common with EmKey, Viking Energy Broker and Nucomer Energy. However, it would be incorrect to say that Opatho is owned by EmKey or that the Risberg Line Project is an EmKey project. Below is the official 449-page FERC filing with all the details, along with a summary of the project. We have a handy timeline, and a map of the pipeline route…
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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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How to Do Business with the Shell Ethane Cracker Plant

Some 400 business, education and government officials attended a sold-out forum last week in Titusville, PA to hear about doing business with the $6 billion Shell ethane cracker project in Beaver County, PA. The stakes are high. One PA official said, “This is the greatest generational economic development we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, maybe ever.” According to a Louisiana resident involved with crackers in his state, for ever job the Shell cracker creates there will be 8.3 jobs somewhere else–at other companies in the region–to support the plant. It is an incredible opportunity. The question, for businesses in the region, is: How do we get a piece of the cracker pie? We now have an answer–at least in part. If you want to supply goods and services for the construction of the plant, the key is in working with the main contractor building the plant–Bechtel. Below we have details on how to plug in to the Bechtel supply chain system, along with advice for job seekers who want to work at the cracker plant once it’s built…
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Universal Well Services Closes PA Facility, Lays Off Some Workers

It wasn’t so long ago that MDN told you about the “feel good” story of Universal Well Services, a Meadville (Crawford County), PA company specializing in pressure-pumping wells, cementing well pads and other well services (see Marcellus Supply Chain Success Story: Universal Well Services). Universal is a subsidiary of Patterson-UGI Energy, Inc.–a large oilfield services company. The company had grown from 200 to more than 1,000 employees in 10 years. But that was before the price of oil and gas went into the basement. Now they’re laying off employees…
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Marcellus Supply Chain Success Story: Universal Well Services

There is an inescapable fact in business: those who take risks are the ones who get the rewards. A corollary is this: Those who take the biggest risks get the biggest rewards. And so it is for Meadville (Crawford County), PA company Universal Well Services, a company that specializes in pressure-pumping wells, cementing well pads and other well services. Ten years ago Universal’s business was 100% servicing the needs of conventional oil and gas drillers. The company decided to take a leap of faith–they temporarily suspended their work for conventional drillers and instead worked on a single Marcellus Shale (unconventional/shale) project. It was a huge risk for a relatively small company…
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Titusville, PA Tells Shale Drilling Industry: We Want YOU

What a refreshing change! Titusville (Crawford County), PA, a small city in northwestern PA where this country’s first-ever commercial oil well was drilled (the Drake well), wants to market itself as the perfect place for those involved in the shale drilling industry to set up offices and operations. Titusville sits between active Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling on either side of it and will someday likely see its own drilling. City officials figure with a bit of marketing they can be a destination for the industry in NW PA. Smart.

Officials are spending $33,000 to get a plan developed that will assist them in knowing how and where to market their community. They’re even talking about using old wells in the area as (gasp) injection wells for frack wastewater! Right now the city is shopping for someone to help them develop a comprehensive plan…
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Allegheny College Faces Green Monster of Its Own Making

This is truly rich. Allegheny College, a private, exclusive, rich coeducational liberal arts college (2,100 students, tuition $38,750/year) in the northwestern PA town of Meadville has been a national leader in brainwashing teaching young college kids about the morally superior ways of so-called sustainability and worshiping Mother Earth and all things “green.” But dang, some of those nasty fossil fuel companies are waving big bucks in front of Allegheny College to lease some of the college’s land. Specifically, drillers want to lease, wait for it… the 283-acre Allegheny College Environmental Research Reserve. Talk about ironic! Like taking a bite from the apple all those years ago in Eden, it seems the temptation is just too much for Allegheny.

The college has assembled a white-wash working committee of faculty, staff and students to try, somehow, desperately, to justify selling their souls to the fracking devil so they can take those piles of money. Problem is, the college has created a legion of true green believers who now feel violated, betrayed, confused that the very institution they pay $38,750/year to teach them to hate all fossil fuels would possibly consider changing course for filthy lucre…
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Mystery Buyer of Carrizo’s Northern Utica Acreage Revealed

Yesterday MDN reported that Carrizo Oil & Gas had sold off it’s interest in lease acreage in Ohio’s northern Utica Shale region for $43 million (see this MDN story). Carrizo did not identify the buyer, but the enterprising Youngstown Business Journal did.

Here’s who it is:

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