Ohio Power Siting Board approves construction of natural gas-fired power plant
The Ohio Power Siting Board has authorized South Field Energy LLC to build a 1,105-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant near Wellsville, Ohio, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. The newspaper says South Field Energy, a subsidiary of Boston-based Advanced Power, plans to begin construction in January 2016 and start commercial operations in January 2020. The $1.1 billion project is similar to the Advanced Power electric generation plant now under construction near Carrollton, Ohio, according to the Business Journal. For more, read the full story.
TransCanada, gas producers at odds on contracts to combat supplies from Marcellus, Utica shale plays
TransCanada Corp. and Alberta, Canada natural gas producers agree they need a new pipeline deal to fend off rival supplies from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, but the length of such contracts is “a point of contention,” Bloomberg reports. The news service says TransCanada is trying to get commitments for decade-long contracts to ship gas east to Central Canada in exchange for lower tolls to help keep Canadian supplies competitive as two new pipelines prepare to link the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to markets in Ontario and Quebec. For more, read the full story.
Marathon Petroleum CEO: Natural gas industry needs to overcome regulatory, political challenges
Speaking at the recent Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh, Marathon Petroleum Corp. CEO Gary Heminger said the natural gas industry needs to overcome the challenges of lingering prices and the current regulatory and political environment, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. As increased federal regulations pose issues for oil and natural gas producers, Heminger said the possibility of higher taxes and fees hanging over the industry will also affect whether investment capital will return “full force” to the region. “We need to know what they are and that they will be enforced consistently,” he said. For more, read the full story.
Marcellus Shale Coalition donates $1.1 million to Junior Achievement
The Marcellus Shale Coalition recently donated $1.1 million to Junior Achievement's Careers in Energy program in Pennsylvania, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the program, which has impacted more than 5,000 students since its launch in 2011, explores the work-force, educational, economic and environmental impacts of the oil and natural gas industry in the state. For more, read the full story.
Ineos bullish on imports of natural gas from Ohio, Pennsylvania
Importing natural gas from the United States, including from Ohio and Pennsylvania, to the United Kingdom and Europe “makes perfect geopolitical and commercial sense," Ineos official Tom Crotty told the International Business Times during a recent visit to a Consol Energy shale gas drilling site in eastern Ohio. “A key facet of our commercial agreement with American gas exporters is security of supply, with the UK becoming a net importer of natural gas,” he said. In partnership with Consol and pipeline companies, Ineos is transporting natural gas from eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania via the Mariner East pipeline to the Marcus Hook terminal near Philadelphia and then shipping it to the United Kingdom and Norway. For more, read the full story.
Dorfman Production looks to sell Ohio oil and gas assets
Oil and Gas Investor reports that Dallas-based Dorfman Production Co. intends to sell its interest in certain oil and natural gas assets in Ohio. The news site says the assets include 339 producing wells and 13,640 gross acres located in Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage and Stark counties. For more, read the full story.
Moody’s: Oil and gas debt defaults ‘catastrophic’
Moody’s Investors Service says the oil-market crash may leave behind as much financial wreckage for lenders as the telecom bust in the early 2000s, reports FuelFix.com. On average, banks and bond investors have recovered only about $1 of every $5 they put into U.S. oil and gas companies that went bankrupt in 2015, according to the credit rating agency. Moody’s says that amount is about a third of what creditors historically have pulled out of energy companies that default on debt and “can only be described as catastrophic.” For more, read the full story.
Ohio Courts of Appeals affirm survey access rights for natural gas pipeline
Two Ohio Courts of Appeals have affirmed that natural gas pipeline company NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC has legal authority to conduct land surveys for the NEXUS pipeline project. On September 12, 2016, the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals affirmed a 2015 ruling from the Medina County Court of Common Pleas, which held that an interstate natural gas pipeline company has authority to access private property to conduct surveys required to construct a 250-mile natural gas pipeline. Earlier this year, the Sixth District Court of Appeals reached a similar conclusion in an appeal from the Erie County Court of Common Pleas. These are the only appellate decisions on the statutory survey access issue. For more, read a summary of the rulings by Bricker & Eckler’s oil and gas team.
FERC rules on Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline project
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a final environmental impact statement on Columbia Gas Transmission's Leach XPress natural gas pipeline project, reports Argus Media. The news site says FERC concluded that while construction and operation of the project would have some environmental impacts, they can be reduced to “less than significant levels with the use of some mitigating measures.” The $1.4 billion project will connect production areas in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to Columbia Gas’s mainline system. For more, read the full story.
Discovery of ‘Frackibacter’ has implications for shale drillers
Researchers analyzing the genomes of microorganisms living in shale oil and gas wells have found evidence of sustainable ecosystems taking hold that are populated in part by a never-before-seen genus of bacteria they have dubbed “Frackibacter,” reports Bakken magazine. Citing a report by Ohio State University researchers and their colleagues in the September 5, 2016 online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology, the magazine says the new genus was found living in two hydraulically fractured wells in the Utica and Marcellus shale formations. One implication of the study is that methane produced by microbes living in shale wells could possibly supplement the wells’ energy output. For more, read the full story.