Shale Crescent USA proposes rebranding Appalachia as the “Shale Crescent”

At a recent Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce event, Shale Crescent USA Marketing Director Greg Kozera shared his company’s vision of rebranding the region as the “Shale Crescent” to promote economic development, according to the Wheeling News-Register. Along with rebranding itself, Kozera also suggested constructing a petrochemical storage hub and keeping gas and oil industry taxes low. For more, read the full story

West Virginia

Bill protecting oil and gas producers from new tax policy passes Ohio legislature

An Ohio Department of Taxation audit led the state agency to conclude that oil and gas producers are no longer exempt from sales taxes on several necessary capital expenditures, according to Columbus Business First.  House Bill 430, which was crafted to protect producers from these taxes passed the Ohio House and Senate, and recently received Gov. John Kasich’s signature for approval. State Rep. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, said he introduced the bill to protect mom-and-pop production companies and hundreds of jobs. For more, read the full story

Ohio, Oil & Gas Litigation

U.S. Department of Transportation railway grant would support proposed PTT ethane cracker plant

Recently, Belmont County was awarded $16 million in federal grant funds to improve the rail system near the proposed site of the PTT ethane cracker plant. U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, said the funding indicates a positive direction for economic development in the region, supporting the proposal for a PTTGCA-Daelim ethane cracker plant nearby at Dilles Bottom, according to The Times Leader. PTT spokesman Dan Williamson and Belmont County Commissioner J.P. Dutton also acknowledged the possible positive impacts of the grant, which are anticipated to improve the county’s infrastructure and job growth. For more, read the full story.

Ohio

Appalachian Storage Hub Conference speakers agree now is the time to build

The petrochemical industry in Appalachia is currently booming with the Shell ethane cracker under construction and other projects planned in the tri-state area. The Gulf Coast has many large storage hubs for the petrochemical industry, but industry experts at the Appalachian Storage Hub Conference agreed the Appalachian region needs its own storage areas to reach full output potential, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. The payoff associated with an Appalachian storage hub is massive reports a recent American Chemistry Council study; it could spur billions of dollars in investment and create nearly 100,000 jobs.  For more, read the full story

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

PA Supreme Court: Oil and gas wells may not be an acceptable use in certain residential/agricultural zoned areas

In a 4-3 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in Gorsline v. Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township, J-13-2017, 2018 Pa. LEXIS 2781 (June 1, 2018), announced a ruling that may impact shale gas development in non-industrially zoned areas throughout Pennsylvania. In the case, Fairfield Township approved an application to permit Inflection Energy, LLC to drill multiple gas wells in a residential-agricultural zoned area. The issuance of the permit was based upon the township board of supervisors’ determination that the drilling and operation of the wells was “similar to and compatible with the other uses permitted in the zone” where the property is located and that the wells constituted a “public service facility” under the local zoning code. Two local families appealed the township’s decision.

The trial court overturned the decision to permit the oil and gas wells, finding that the board’s classification of the wells as “similar to” a “public service facility” was not supported by substantial evidence. The intermediate appellate court reversed the trial court, finding that the oil and gas company’s proposed use was similar to and compatible with a “public service facility” and/or an “essential service.” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that the board’s determination to permit the wells as “similar to and compatible with” a “public service facility” or “essential service” was an error as a matter of law. The Court reasoned that the proposed drilling did not demonstrate any benefit to the local community such that it could be considered a public service facility but indicated its decision did not decide that all oil and gas development in residential or agricultural zones is unacceptable as a matter of Pennsylvania law. In fact, the Court noted that the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code specifically “permits the governing body of a municipality to amend its zoning ordinances to permit oil and gas development in any or all of its zoning districts.” For more, read the full Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story.

Oil & Gas Litigation, Pennsylvania

EV Energy Partners emerges from bankruptcy court as Harvest Oil & Gas

After spending two months in bankruptcy court and shedding $355 million in debt, the original EV Energy Partners (EVEP) became Harvest Oil & Gas, according to Marcellus Drilling News. EVEP was originally a master limited partnership (MLP), but Harvest Oil & Gas is now a corporation. For more, read the full story.

National

Mining officials announce $5M land remediation project in Harrison County, Ohio

State mining officials announced a $5 million land remediation project in Harrison County, reports The Times Leader. The newspaper says the site, planned for Sally Buffalo Park, will involve building a retaining wall that will redirect runoff from old surface mines, making the park safer and a “great economic driver.” For more, read the full story.

Ohio

Private equity owner could combine Appalachian oil and gas companies

Pittsburgh Business Times reports that EnCap Investments, the private equity owner of Penn Energy Resources LLC and Eclipse Resources, is considering merging the oil and gas companies. Click here to read more.

Pennsylvania

Leaders See Wheeling Opportunity Zone As ‘Good Tool’

West Virginia lawmakers recently announced that five zones in Wheeling, Weirton and in Wetzel, Tyler and Marshall counties have been certified ‘Opportunity Zones’. The Intelligencer reported that the newly certified zones will be beneficial for energy projects in the area and a good tool for business development. For more, read the full story

West Virginia

ETF Asks FERC for Service Authorization on Rover Laterals

Natural Gas World reports that Energy Transfer Partners (ETF) has asked FERC to issue several in-service authorizations for Rover Pipeline laterals in eastern Ohio. ETF has also agreed to complete restoration work along their pipeline route by the end of July.  For more, read the full story

Ohio
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