Fairmount Santrol to move headquarters to Cuyahoga County

Fairmount Santrol, Inc., which mines sand used in oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing operations, will relocate its headquarters from Chesterland to Independence, Ohio, reports Cleveland.com. The news site says the  Cuyahoga County Community Improvement Corp. has recommended that the company receive $500,000 in economic development loans for its proposed new headquarters. For more, read the full story.


FERC allows start of Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction in West Virginia

Marcellus Drilling News reports that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given permission to Dominion Energy to begin construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in West Virginia. The news site says the $6.5 billion natural gas line will run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. Click here to read more.

National, West Virginia

Rex Energy plans to file for bankruptcy

Rex Energy Corp., a Pennsylvania-based oil and natural gas company, plans to file for bankruptcy, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper says Rex, which operates in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, disclosed in its quarterly report with the Securities & Exchange Commission that it could not come to an agreement with lenders after missing a debt payment in April 2018, and would be seeking protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Expert: Crude oil prices may hit $85 a barrel this summer

CNBC reports that energy analyst Dan Yergin is saying crude oil prices may continue to rally past three-and-a-half year highs and could hit $85 a barrel as soon as July 2018. The news network notes that oil prices have been steadily rising since 2017, and crude futures “rose faster than expected recently as geopolitical tensions rattle the market.” Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, recently rose toward $80 a barrel after hitting its highest level since November 2014. For more, read the full story.

Global, National

Testing continues at site of proposed Ohio ethane ‘cracker’ plant

Soil testing is under way at the former R.E. Burger power plant along the Ohio River in Belmont County to ensure the ground can support PTT Global Chemical’s proposed $10 billion ethane “cracker” plant, reports the  Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. “This is part of our ongoing feasibility and engineering work, including permit-related activities required through our contractors and consultants,” said PTT spokesman Dan Williamson, adding a final investment decision on building the plant remains under evaluation. For more, read the full story.


ExxonMobil, Saudi company want to build ethane ‘cracker’ plant

The Houston Business Journal reports that ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. have formed a joint venture for their Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project that will include a 1.8 million-tonne ethane “cracker” plant in Portland, Texas. The newspaper says the move is a key milestone because it allows the companies to continue advancing the $10 billion project. The plant is expected to be operational around 2021 or 2022. For more, read the full story.

Global, National

Ohio EPA releases draft Storm Water General Permit for pipeline projects

Ohio EPA has released a draft Construction Storm Water General Permit for Oil and Gas Linear Transmission Line and Gathering Line Installation for public comment. According to Ohio EPA, the draft permit is a “non-NPDES” permit issued under state law and would apply outside of the federal storm water construction exemption for these types of projects. The draft permit requires the development and implementation of a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWP3) and a horizontal directional drilling (HDD) contingency plan. The permit will be necessary for construction activities disturbing five or more acres.

A public informational session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22, 2018, from 2:30-4:00 p.m. A public hearing on the draft permit has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. Both events will be held at Ohio EPA’s Central Office in Columbus, Ohio. Public comments should be submitted to Ohio EPA by June 6, 2018.


EIA: Natural gas-fired power plants lead rise in electric generating capacity

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has issued a report predicting that 32 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating capacity will come online nationally in 2018, with 66% of that total to be from natural gas-fired power plants, according to Marcellus Drilling News. The report says that of the 21 GW of new natural gas-fired generation, Pennsylvania will provide 5.2 GW, while Maryland and Virginia will each generate 1.9 GW. Click here to read more.

National, Pennsylvania

Shell Polymers name returning with Pennsylvania ethane ‘cracker’ project

The Shell Polymers name “is returning in a big way” with the development of Royal Dutch Shell’s massive petrochemicals complex in western Pennsylvania, reports Plastics News. The news site says the Shell Chemicals unit, which had exited most of its plastics businesses in recent years, is bouncing back, with production at the Shell ethane “cracker” plant in Beaver County expected to begin in the early 2020s. Polyethylene resins made at the location will mostly be sold to the U.S. domestic market. For more, read the full story.


Bricker & Eckler forum looks at economic impact of Ohio energy projects

As southeast Ohio continues to lead the way in the development of energy resources such as oil and natural gas, the impact of that development on rural communities in the state is a hot topic in the energy industry, reports Columbus Business First about a recent energy forum hosted by Bricker & Eckler. Forum topics focused on the economic impact in Ohio from various energy projects - past, present and future. Speakers included Tim Wells from American Electric Power, Adam Parker from Enbridge, Cara Dingus Brook from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and Bricker attorney Jennifer Flint. For more, read the full story.

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