ODNR permitting process under way for injector wells in Richland Township

Omni Energy Group has filed for a permit to site two saltwater injection wells near the intersection of U.S. 40 and Ohio 331 near St. Clairsville, the Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register reports. Residents voiced concerns about pollution, noise and increased truck traffic related to the potential siting. The CEO of Omni stated that “[Omni wants to] be the best neighbor and best part of the community we can be.” The permitting process is ongoing with no finite deadline. Read the full story.

 

Ohio

Findlay-based Marathon Petroleum merger could benefit midstream growth in Ohio basin

A planned merger of Marathon entities MPLX and Andeavor Logistics will expand “[Marathon’s] geographic footprint” in the Ohio basin, the Dayton Daily News reports. Marathon’s CEO anticipates growth and value-creation opportunities as a result. Likewise, low oil prices may spur consolidation between Anadarko Petroleum and Occidental Petroleum. Read the full story.

Ohio

Belmont County tops Utica Shale activity

The New Philadelphia Times-Reporter’s weekly roundup of Utica Shale activity, for the week ended April 27, 2019. Belmont County tops the list with 629 permits, followed by Carroll County at 525 and Harrison County at 470. There are 2,179 producing Utica wells in Ohio.

Ohio

Jefferson County to break into top five

According to the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, Jefferson County will soon become one of the top five natural gas producing counties in the state. The energy industry is emphasizing production in the region with its Shale Crescent campaign and Ascent Resources, with 29 of the top 40 producing wells in Ohio, is focusing drilling in Smithfield, Mount Pleasant and Cross Creek. Currently there are 229 permitted drilling sites in Jefferson County. Read the full story, including production and permitting data from surrounding counties, here.

 

Ohio

Investment in Ohio shale reaches $74 billion, continues to grow

A quarterly report commissioned by JobsOhio and issued by Cleveland State University’s Energy Policy Center shows continued strong investment in oil and gas production in eastern Ohio, reaching $74 billion for the period between 2011 and the second quarter of 2018. The Energy Policy Center based its findings on investment data from companies in the region. Most of this investment has been in the upstream applications of oil and gas production. Other developing investments include ironmaking plants in Toledo and Ashtabula County; potential investments include PTT Global’s proposed petrochemical plant in Belmont County. Read the full story.

Ohio

13 permits issued for Utica shale

For the week ended April 13, 2019, the ODNR issued 13 permits to Ascent Resources-Utica LLC for exploratory drilling in Belmont, Harrison and Jefferson Counties. These were the only permits issued for the week in both the Ohio and Pennsylvania sectors of the Utica, according to the Youngstown Business Journal. 2,179 horizontal wells and 16 rigs are currently in production in Ohio. Read the full story.

Ohio

Power companies ask Supreme Court to strike down nuclear power subsidies; Supreme Court denies petitions for writs of certiorari (update)

Update:  On April 15, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court denied, without decision, two petitions for writs of certiorari that were filed by one of the nation’s leading trade associations representing independent power producers. Those cases alleged, among other things, that ZEN legislation out of both New York and Illinois were preempted by federal law. The Court upheld the dismissal of the complaint in each case, and the Zero Emission Nuclear (ZEN) legislation in New York and Illinois was effectively upheld as not in violation of the Federal Power Act.

On January 7, 2019, the Electric Power Supply Association, one of the nation’s leading trade associations representing independent power producers, filed two petitions for writs of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court. The writs for cert arise from appeals of a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which is summarized here, and a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which is summarized here, that both upheld state subsidies for nuclear power generation facilities in New York and Illinois, respectively. The question presented by both appeals is “[w]hether the [Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. § 791a et seq.] preempts only state subsidies that explicitly require a wholesale generator to sell its output in FERC-approved auctions, or whether the FPA also preempts state subsidies that lack such an express requirement but that, by design, subsidize only generators that sell their entire output via such auctions, thereby achieving the same effect.”

Both petitions urged the Court to recognize the great importance of the decisions from the Second Circuit and Seventh Circuit if upheld. “The economic and policy stakes are enormous,” and the subsidies will grossly distort market outcomes. “Unless this Court intervenes, these subsidy schemes will impose huge costs and threaten serious distortions of the FERC-authorized mechanisms for setting wholesale rates at economically efficient levels and sending appropriate price signals to wholesale market participants.” To the petitioners, the decisions ratify “a fundamental transfer of regulatory authority to the States and away from the federal government and its policy of relying on market forces to set just and reasonable wholesale rates and send economically efficient signals regarding market entry and exit.”

This case will have major ramifications across the country but particularly here in Ohio, as the outcome could work to either essentially permit or effectively preempt future attempts at providing nuclear subsidies to failing generation facilities. The response date for both petitions has been set for February 7, 2019.

National, Oil & Gas Litigation

Potential economic impact of Belmont County cracker plant

According to daily-jeff.com, PTTGC America, the U.S. subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical, is in the process of conducting a site feasibility study in Mead Township to determine its suitability for a petrochemical complex that could “change the economic structure throughout the [Eastern Ohio] region.” PTT Global is looking at the site specifically because of its location on the Utica and Marcellus shale plays and its easy access to transportation infrastructure. Economic development from the proposed plant could benefit Belmont and adjacent counties, attracting business from upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the petrochemical industry. Read the full story.

Ohio

Utica and Marcellus shale plays drive U.S. natural gas production to record high

The Utica/Point Pleasant and Marcellus shale plays are driving growth in U.S. natural gas production, according to data from the EIA and reported by the Youngstown Business Journal. National production was up 11% in 2018, marking the “largest annual production increase on record” for the second year in a row. Gross withdrawals in Ohio alone were up 34% in 2018; notably, the Appalachian basin is now supplying an increased volume of natural gas to other areas of the country, including the Gulf Coast and Texas. Likewise, export volumes have increased. Billion-dollar investments in pipeline development across the region will continue. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

ODNR issues first drilling permits in Columbiana County since August 2018

The Salem News  reports that Hilcorp Energy has been granted four new permits to drill in Columbiana County.

Ohio
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