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Recap of 2015 activity in the gas, oil industry—What's next?

By Judie Perkowski | Dix Communications Published: March 17, 2016 9:59 AM

A recap of the stories in the Gas & Oil magazine from January to December of 2015 that made us smile, angry, frustrated, and, for some, more money than they ever had in their life. These stories are some of the most talked about by the public and the industry.

First quarter of 2015 — It was all about the jobs in the first quarter of 2015, Gov. Kasich’s plan for a severance tax, and Obama’s veto of the proposed Keystone Pipeline.

January — Workforce Summit focused on jobs. Toby Mack, president and chief executive officer of Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance, said the shale energy supply chain is comprised of more than 60 industries with more than 600,000 workers.

U.S. Representative Bill Johnson, Ohio 6th District and a member of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said,” We play a pivotal role in America’s future. There are many projects coming our way that present great opportunities, with many jobs in oil fields, wells, pipelines, construction and dozens of other positions. We have to engage our young people in the conversation about careers, not just job, for men and women in the industry.”

February — New energy taxes could jeopardize jobs! Ohio and Pennsylvania are at the forefront of America’s shale energy revolution. In
Ohio, employment in core shale industries, such as pipeline construction and well drilling, increased 88 percent from 2011 to 2014. Those jobs paid $25,000 more annually than jobs in other Ohio industries. Similar to Pennsylvania, the state’s public school districts could employ 700 teachers with the $60 million in energy savings they enjoyed due to the affordable supply of shale energy unlocked through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Job creation, wages, economic growth and taxpayer savings, every key economic indicator has benefitted from shale energy development in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

March — Keystone VETO not a death blow. On Feb. 24, 2015, President Obama vetoes the bill Congress passed this month forcing approval of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. The bill, an effort by Congress to override the State Department’s protracted environmental review of the pipeline, would have authorized TransCanada to build the $8 billion pipeline along 875 miles of U.S. soil from the Canadian border in Montana to Nebraska, where the oil would be piped to refineries in Texas. After postponing a final decision on the Keystone, the State Department has hinted that its decision could be forthcoming sometime this year (2015) but its review of TransCanada’s permit application is ongoing.

Second quarter of 2015 focused on fracking-induced earthquakes, water rights and experts predict the ‘best is yet to come’

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April — Tremors shaking up well discussions. Companies that pump massive amounts of salty oilfield waste into the ground are now required to install seismic monitors to track Earth movement. People in Mahoning Valley are tired of earthquakes and expect public officials to do everything in their power to prevent future fracking-induced tremors.

American Water Management Services, Inc. says that two seismic events, a magnitude 1.7 tremor in July and a 2.1 a month alter, were minor and were not felt by the general populace or big enough to cause damage. The ultimate decision in this case will have repercussions for eastern Ohio’s fracking-related activities.

May — Women can succeed in non-traditional roles; Consol Energy using engines to cut fracking pump emissions

Deanna Duche, one of the few women in Ohio to be a certified welder and a certified welding instructor. She is also the director of welding education at Zane State College in Cambridge. She has been at the college since 2001. Duche said there  are usually five or six women in the welding classes. Duche said the skill is very much in demand. As soon as a student learns the basics, a gas and oil company is knocking on the door.

Consol Energy has begun using new, cleaner burning engines to run its hydraulic fracturing pumps at natural gas well sites. The Pennsylvania-based energy company said the diesel engines are supposed to cut harmful emissions by 36 percent.

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June — The third anniversary of the Gas & Oil magazine. Supply and demand. John Felmy, chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute said despite the success of the industry, growth in the U.S. depends on the fundamentals of supply and demand.  4 to 5 percent increase in supply has lead to a 40-50 percent decrease in price. The key is what came down fast can quickly reverse. Today, 49 of Ohio’s counties have over 50,000 producing wells, a statistic that was not valid five years ago.

Third quarter of 2015 — Focus on pipelines, first hotel in Cadiz, courts rule against Community Bill of Rights.

July —  Negotiating pipelines projects: Dale Arnold of the Ohio Farm Bureau spoke with several township trustees at the invitation of the Wayne county Commissioners, to explain what they can expect as energy development in the U.S. changes to a decentralized system with relatively few entities to one with many players as more pipelines find their way through the county. The NEXUS pipeline is slated to cut across northeastern Chippewa Township.

August — Industry spurs first hotel in Cadiz. Home to about 3,300 resident in Ohio’s Utica shale region, Cadiz is now also host to oil and gas workers and visitors who stay at the 81-room Microtel Inn & Suites. In the coming months, Cadiz will see its second hotel when a Days Inn & Suites opens.  Cadiz and surrounding communities in Harrison County have seen some of the most active oil and gas drilling operations in Ohio.   

September — Ohio Sec. of State invalidates ballot proposals. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled on the questioned validity of county charter ballot proposals, certifying that they would NOT receive a place on the November 2015 election ballot. Husted said that provisions in each of the charters relating to oil and gas exploration represented an attempt to circumvent state law in the manner the courts have already found to be in violation of the Ohio Constitution.

Fourth quarter of 2015— Thailand company to invest $100 M in Belmont County; Don Gadd: when endless stream of money ends; Wayne Co. rejects Rover pipeline.

October — PTT Global Chemical announced it has plans to build an ethane cracker plant in eastern Ohio. The $100 million investment is to start the engineering phase of the potential project.

Landman and Byesville former Mayor Don Gadd gave some advice. Like many booms money seemed to be flowing from endless streams, and lease money kept going up and up ... There comes a day when it ends and without warning all your hopes and dreams of big money seem dashed.

Though this seems to be true currently, there is still activity going on in the oil patch. It is just transferred to the mid-stream part of the business. It’s crazy and it may be several years before it gets hot again, but it will.

November — Wayne County Commissioners filed a letter with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked the agency to reject Energy Transfer’s proposed Rover Pipeline, saying the proposed route could hinder the county’s economy and create safety concerns. 
FERC’s approval process is viewed as a court case and each filing counts as a piece of evidence for granting approval, denial or recommendations for how to improve.

December — Six counties in Ohio reached the century mark for gas/oil activity. Carroll County continues to lead Ohio in Utica Shale development with Chessapeake number one with 408 permits, 323 wells developed and 223 producing. Harrison  has 234 permits, 111 wells developed and 61 producing , followed by Noble, Belmont and Guernsey counties.


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