Monday, September 26, 2011

Ethane Cracker Location In West Virginia Still Promising

Three chemical companies are eyeing seven possible sites in West Virginia for a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker plant, according to the state Commerce Secretary. Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette is quoted in an article in today's Charleston Daily Mail that he thinks the companies will narrow down the list of sites in the very near future. West Virginia officials are working closely with the companies to help land one or more of the possible ethane cracker facilities. In another news article, the CEO of Bayer Corp. said he still hopes the company's two sites in West Virginia may be selected for the cracker plant.

Officials To Narrow Cracker Site List
Charleston Daily Mail, Sept. 26, 2011

Shale’s Future Strong; Bayer Chief Still Hopeful for Plant
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register, Sept. 25, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

ACC Study: New Cracker Facility Will Yield 12,000 Jobs

A study by the American Chemistry Council finds that as many as 12,000 jobs may result from the location of a new ethane cracker facility. ACC's study found that a new petrochemical plant in the Marcellus region would generate $7.5 billion in chemical industry output, 12,000 jobs in chemistry and supplier industries, $1 billion in state wages and $169 million in state tax revenue. West Virginia's government leaders are working closely to get a cracker faciility located in the state.

"Access to vast, new supplies of natural gas from previously untapped shale deposits is one of the most exciting domestic energy developments of the past 50 years," the report states. "After years of high, volatile natural gas prices, the new economics of shale gas are a 'game changer,' creating a competitive advantage for U.S. petrochemical manufacturers, leading to greater U.S. investment and industry growth."

ACC’s national report also showcases the benefits of shale gas for the domestic chemistry industry and the broader U.S. manufacturing sector. It found that reasonable increases in shale gas production in the U.S. could result in nearly 400,000 new jobs in the chemical sector and supplier industries, more than $132 billion in U.S. economic output and nearly $4.4 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue annually, Dooley said.

Click to read the council's study.

Click to read news story.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ehtane Cracker Would Usher In 'Golden Age' For State's Chemical Industry

The President and CEO of the American Chemical Council said Marcellus Shale stands to usher in "a golden age in chemical manufacturing," and West Virginia stands to be a key winner. "We're poised to have a new golden age in chemical manufacturing in the United States if we have the right regulatory policies that allow us to maximize production of shale gas and the conversion of that gas into other products," said Cal Dooley in an article in today's Charleseton Daily Mail. West Virginia stands to be gain significantly because it "is fairly uniquely positioned in terms of population centers, infrastructure and pipelines," he added.

Dooley noted that a $1.5 billion to $2 billion cracker facility would result in:
- about $3.2 billion would be invested in the downstream chemical facilities,
- generate $7 billion in additional chemical industry output in West Virginia, and
- create 12,000 jobs the state's chemical industry and throughout the supply chain.

This also would result in West Virginia moving up from being the 23rd largest chemical-producing state to being the 13th largest, Dooley added.

Click to read the entire article.

Possibility Increasing For Marcellus Special Session In November

With a special committee looking more likely to complete work in October on a Marcellus Shale regulatory bill, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said he would consider calling a special session in November. Talking with editors at The Register-Herald, Tomblin said "I do want to encourage them to go ahead and get some sort of agreement out here, so we can get the law on the books...If they can get it done in October, that (November) would be the appropriate time, I think.” Click to read the entire article.

However, horizontal producers have begun to express concerns about some amendments that were adopted recently by the committee. These amendments include establishing a higher drilling permit fee on horizontal wells, new public notice requirements and a new $2,500 payment to surface owners.

Lewis Glasser is closely monitoring the activities of the Legislature's special joint Marcellus study committee.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marcellus Legislative Study Committee Approving Amendments, Drilling Permit Fee Increase

Lawmakers serving on a special joint committee to review regulations on Marcellus drilling activities have approved a significant increase in the state's drilling permit fee. Meeting this week as part of monthly legislative interim meetings, the committee adopted several amendments...including changing the state's horizontal drilling permit fee to be $10,000 for each well. The fee would be $5,000 for each additional well drilled at the site. The fee change is part of a legislative regulatory reform bill that is being developed by the special committee. The co-chair of the committee, Delegate Tim Manchin, said he expects the committee to complete its work in October, and have a final proposed bill ready by early November.

Click to read articles:

W.Va. Marcellus committee clears permit fee hurdle
Charleston Daily Mail, Sept. 14, 2011

Marcellus Bill May Ready for Special Session in November
The State Journal, Sept. 14, 2011

$10,000 Drilling Fees Sought
Industry opposes increase from $650 per Marcellus well

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register, Sept. 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Special Marcellus Committee Continues Work On Proposed Marcellus Regulatory Bill

State lawmakers continue to modify draft legislation that is aimed at expanding regulatory requirements on West Virginia's Marcellus Shale natural gas industry. The latest amendments approved Monday by the special House-Senate committee would change the way the DEP hires inspectors and expand public notice and comment processes that involve drilling operations. The committee will meet again tomorrow, September 14. Click to read more.