Rig counts more than double in Pennsylvania, Ohio compared to a year ago

The number of natural gas drilling rigs working in Pennsylvania and Ohio has more than doubled from a year ago, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says Baker Hughes' weekly rig count on July 14 showed there are 34 rigs operating in Pennsylvania compared to 13 at the beginning of July 2016. There are 27 rigs working in Ohio, up from 12 last July, according to the Business Times, and 13 rigs in West Virginia compared to 10 a year ago. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Appalachia looks to land petrochemical plant investments

The northern Appalachian states, already enriched by the natural gas boom, are hoping “the surge in fossil fuel production will help them feed the world's growing demand for plastics and chemicals,” CNBC reports. While Appalachia's share of the $181 billion in planned investments in petrochemical plants is relatively small at roughly $16 billion, the news network says the American Chemistry Council and regional boosters believe states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia “are positioned to capitalize on growing demand for plastics around the world.” For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Report: Oil and gas fund ‘worth essentially nothing’

A $2 billion private equity fund that borrowed heavily to buy oil and natural gas wells before energy prices fell is now “worth essentially nothing,” reports the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper says EnerVest Ltd., a Houston private equity firm that manages the fund, started investing money in it in 2013 when oil was trading at more than double the current price of about $45 a barrel. The Journal says the fund added $1.3 billion of borrowed money to boost its buying power, which “caused trouble when oil prices tumbled.” For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

Consol outlines plans to separate natural gas, coal operations

Consol Energy Inc., which has operations in the Utica shale play, has laid out plans for splitting the company, including separation of its natural gas business, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. Citing details from a Consol filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the newspaper says a still-to-be-named company would hold the natural gas business. In addition, a spinoff company would own Consol’s three coal mines in Greene and Washington counties in Pennsylvania, its ownership interest in CNX Coal Resources LP and other coal-related assets. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Ohio EPA seeks civil penalties against Rover pipeline builder

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked the state’s attorney general to pursue civil penalties against Rover pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners over a series of fluid spills and other alleged violations that could threaten local wetlands and water supplies, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says the agency has also issued a new order against the company, “flagging recent spills from its pipeline project, evidence of industrial waste dumping and certain permit violations.” For more, read the full story.


Hilcorp leads resurgence in northern Utica shale play

Oil and natural gas exploration in the northern section of Ohio’s Utica shale play is starting to accelerate again, led by Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co., reports the Youngstown Business Journal. The newspaper says Hilcorp has solidified its base in the northern Utica over the past 12 months through lease acquisitions, amendments to and renewals of existing leases, and construction of well pads. Hilcorp’s activity has included securing 16 drilling permits for horizontal wells in Fairfield and Elk Run townships in Columbiana County, according to the Business Journal. For more, read the full story.


Ohio House overrides governor’s veto of oil and gas provision

The Ohio House of Representatives recently voted to override 11 of Governor John Kasich's budget vetoes, including one involving a provision that would transfer authority from the governor to the General Assembly to appoint members to the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission, reports the Times Leader in Martins Ferry. The newspaper says the commission is responsible for approving oil and natural gas leases on state lands. Kasich has not appointed any members to the commission, according to the Times Leader. For more, read the full story.


PTT Global Chemical buys site for proposed ethane ‘cracker’ project

PTT Global Chemical Public Company Ltd., whose subsidiary is considering building an ethane “cracker” complex in eastern Ohio, has bought 168 acres along the Ohio River that once was the site of a FirstEnergy Corp. power plant, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says the Thailand-based company acquired the property in Belmont County for $13.8 million. The sale comes after JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development corporation, gave FirstEnergy $14 million to clean up the site and demolish the power plant, with JobsOhio calling the clean-up a "critical step" for the cracker project, according to Business First. For more, read the full story.


New Marathon pipeline operating in northwest Ohio

A new 50-mile natural gas liquids pipeline constructed between Harpster and Lima in northwest Ohio is now operating and will supply fuel to 10 Midwestern refineries, reports the Courier in Findlay, Ohio. The newspaper says the pipeline, a project of MPLX subsidiary Marathon Pipe Line, can transport up to 50,000 barrels per day of either condensate or natural gasoline from the Utica shale play. For more, read the full story.


API study: 2 million jobs to be added by natural gas industry

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that a new study by the American Petroleum Institute predicts two million jobs will be added by the natural gas industry by 2040. The industry and related economic activity now employ about four million workers, according to the newspaper. In addition, Columbus Business First reports the API study says Ohio is fourth among states for most natural gas pipelines in the country, trailing only Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

National, Ohio
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