Ridgetop Capital raises $200 million to acquire oil and gas rights

Ridgetop Capital Partners, a private institutional investment firm focused on the oil and natural gas sector in the Appalachia basin, has closed on another round of fundraising, reports Marcellus Drilling News. The news site says Ridgetop, based in the Pittsburgh area, has raised $200 million to buy natural gas mineral rights in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. Click here to read more.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Patterson-UTI acquires directional driller MS Energy

Nasdaq.com reports that Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Multi-Shot, LLC, which does business as MS Energy Services, for approximately 8.8 million shares of Patterson-UTI common stock and $75 million in cash. Based in Conroe, Texas, MS Energy provides directional oil and natural gas drilling services and has operations in U.S. shale plays, including the Marcellus and Utica region. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Hurricane’s impact shows importance of U.S. Gulf as energy hub

A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) argues that the effects of Hurricane Harvey shutting down the Texas oil refining industry for several weeks “could soon all but evaporate the world's glut of gasoline and other fuels,” according to the Houston Chronicle. The Paris-based agency said the hurricane episode shows how important the Gulf Coast has become to global markets as a trading center that exports 4 million barrels of petroleum products a day. "The rise of the Gulf Coast as a major energy hub means that, in some respects, it can be compared to the Strait of Hormuz in that normal operations are too important to fail," IEA said. For more, read the full story.

Global, National

Construction begins on methanol plant in West Virginia

Local and state officials recently joined representatives of US Methanol in a groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s new chemical plant in Institute, West Virginia, reports MetroNews. The news service says US Methanol expects to open its Liberty One facility in mid-2018 and employ about 50 people there. The plant, which will use natural gas in its production process, will be capable of producing 200,000 metric tons of methanol a year. For more, read the full story.

West Virginia

Carrizo Oil & Gas to sell assets in Utica shale play

Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. has announced it will sell a portion of its oil and natural gas position in Ohio’s Utica shale play to an undisclosed buyer, reports Oil and Gas Investor. The news site says Carrizo has agreed to sell its Utica acreage, primarily located in Guernsey County, Ohio, for up to $77 million. For more, read the full story.


Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers seek FERC approval

Developers of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve the project this month, reports The Associated Press. The news service says Dominion Energy, Duke Energy and Southern Company Gas are seeking permission to move forward on the 600-mile pipeline that would carry natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. The pipeline developers hope to begin initial construction and tree clearing in November. For more, read the full story.

West Virginia

FirstEnergy lowers sale price for natural gas-fueled power plants

Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. has dropped the sale price for five natural gas-fueled power plants and a hydroelectric facility in an effort to close a “drawn-out deal” with a New York-based private equity firm, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper says First Energy had announced in January 2017 that it would sell four natural gas power plants in Allegheny, Greene, Luzerne and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania and a hydroelectric plant in Virginia to LS Power Equity Partners III LP for $925 million. But FirstEnergy has now amended its agreement with LS Power, lowering the overall sale price to $825 million and adding its interest in another natural gas plant in Virginia, according to the Post-Gazette. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania

Company wants to run NGL pipelines under Ohio River

Denver-based Energy Storage Ventures hopes to connect three pipelines running beneath the Ohio River to its new natural gas liquids (NGL) storage facility in eastern Ohio by 2019, reports the Review in East Liverpool. The newspaper says two of the pipelines would carry ethane, propane and butane from the Blue Racer Natrium processing plant in northern West Virginia to the Mountaineer NGL Storage facility near Clarington, Ohio, while the third would send salt brine from the storage facility to a chlorine plant in Marshall County, West Virginia. Speaking at a recent panel discussion organized by West Virginia University, Energy Storage President David Hooker said his company wants to use salt caverns for NGL storage, with each capable of holding 500,000 barrels of ethane, butane or propane, according to the Review. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, West Virginia

WVU study identifies sites for Appalachia ethane storage hub

West Virginia University researchers believe a Marcellus and Utica shale ethane storage hub could help create $36 billion in investment and more than 100,000 permanent jobs, including some at industrial sites left behind by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, Weirton Steel and Ormet Corp. in the Upper Ohio Valley, reports the Herald-Star in Steubenville. The newspaper says a new study by researchers at the WVU Energy Institute identifies a number areas in the region that have favorable geology for ethane storage, including all or portions of several counties in eastern Ohio and West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle. For more read the full story.

Ohio, West Virginia

Construction begins on natural gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania

Construction has started on an $863 million natural gas-fueled power plant in Lawrence County in western Pennsylvania, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. The newspaper says the 1,000-megawatt Hickory Run Power Station, located off Route 551 in North Beaver Township, is being developed by Tyr Energy, a U.S. subsidiary of Japanese energy company Itochu, and partners Kansai Electrical Power Co. and Siemens Group. For more, read the full story.

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