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Tag Archive: Oil and Gas

  1. PTT official gives update on cracker project

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    The project director for the planned PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker in Belmont County said having such a surplus of the natural gas liquid so close to Eastern Seaboard population centers makes the Dilles Bottom location ideal.

    Paul Wojciechowski said the Thailand-based petrochemical firm will make a final decision on construction by early next year, during the Ohio Valley Regional Oil & Gas Expo at the James Carnes Center Tuesday.

    If built, the cracker construction would generate thousands of temporary jobs and hundreds of full-time permanent jobs, along with the millions of dollars in wages paid and associated economic activity generated. Wojciechowski also told the several hundred attending that any plans to burn the liquid are counterproductive. “Friends don’t let friends burn ethane. That would be a waste,” he said. Developers of the proposed $615 million Moundsville Power natural gas power plant previously announced intentions to burn ethane in their facility.

    Also, some producers now blend ethane into their methane streams to heat homes. Wojciechowski said he plans to meet with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials this week to discuss some of the permits for which PTT Global Chemical will soon apply. Such a project would create certain types of air pollution, according to documents filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental protection for the Royal Dutch Shell ethane cracker planned for Monaca, Pa. Although Wojciechowski emphasized he could not promise the plant would be built, he said the nearly 500- acre site between Ohio 7 and the Ohio River would be preferred. “It was important for me to show you just how perfect this area is for our plant,” he said, displaying an aerial photograph of the site.

    Contractors working for FirstEnergy Corp. are demolishing the closed R.E. Burger power plant. The massive project would include the Burger site, along with another nearly 300 acres to the west. Wojciechowski said plans call for having infrastructure that would “crack” the ethane into ethylene, which then would be transformed into ethylene glycol for antifreeze polyethylene for plastic. “Hundreds of rail cars of polyethylene pellets per month,” Wojciechowski said of how much completed material the plant would ship via railroad.

    Expo attendees also heard from Rob Wingo, senior vice president of Rice Energy, on Tuesday. Rice is one of the largest producers of natural gas in the region, claiming eight of the 10 most prolific natural gas wells in Ohio during the final quarter of 2015 — all in Belmont County. “We do have a great technology team that keeps us ahead and gives us great well results,” Wingo said. Wingo said every driller in the region is waiting for more interstate pipeline capacity to come online.

    Presently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission continues reviewing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the Rover Pipeline, the Leach XPress pipeline, the Mountaineer XPress pipeline and the Nexus Pipeline. Rick Frio serves as chairman of MPR Transloading & Energy Services in Bellaire and is one of the expo’s organizers. The business serves to supply fracking sand and other materials producers need. “This industry is safe, it’s effective — it’s a great thing for our communities,” he said.

    By Casey Junkins, The Times Leader

  2. A Strong Outlook for Industrial Demand

    Comments Off on A Strong Outlook for Industrial Demand

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    As real estate professionals, the BDR team is often asked these two questions:  How are things going in our market and what are you seeing? Here’s what we have to say in response to these popular questions:

    BDR has experienced unseasonable demand during what is traditionally the slowest time of year in commercial real estate.  Although demand has increased in all sectors, the industrial sector is leading the charge in 2017.  There are so many factors that affect a market.  Most of these factors are outside of our regional control.  Each sector under the commercial real estate umbrella is different and driven by varying economic forces which can also be directly affected by macroeconomic factors stemming from federal policy and regulation.

    Many believed Trump’s surprising presidential election would result in pro-business policies.  Time will tell on that one.  Many also thought Trump’s election would result in pro-energy policies.  In less than two weeks in office, we are already seeing this bear some truth.  Within his first week of office, President Trump signed an executive order to encourage federal review folks to pass Trans Canada’s resubmittal of the Keystone Pipeline project in the Dakotas.  According to Marcellus Drilling News, “On January 19, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted to approve and issue a certificate to Columbia Pipeline’s Leach Xpress and Rayne Xpress pipeline projects.  This is fantastic news for the Marcellus/Utica region.”  While traveling in Morgantown, have you looked over at the acres upon acres of green pipe being stored in Morgantown Industrial Park?  We are not getting the world’s longest water slide, but we will begin to hear about progress relating to Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile interstate natural gas transmission line. The project will begin in 2017 and stretch from Harrison County, WV to Chesapeake County, VA and Robeson County, NC.

    What does all of this mean for the region?  Commodity pricing has been suppressed due to an oversupply of natural gas in the market.  Two factors will increase demand:  Pipelines and cracker plants.  We have already touched on pipelines.  There are currently three cracker plants being consider in the region.  One is moving forward in Monaca, PA with two additional cracker plants still in the planning stages.  Cracker plants effectively isolate the molecular components (think chemistry class) in natural gas which are then used in other manufacturing processes such as the development of various plastics.  Due to high usage needs and the expense of transportation, many believe manufacturing will follow and locate within close proximity of the cracker plants.  This results in more jobs for the region and will undoubtedly have a trickle-down economics effect on various sectors.  When looking to open a location, many energy companies have a need for industrial space.

    How can you tell demand has increased in the industrial sector?  Black Diamond Realty records and tracks every lead that comes into our office via phone and internet.  Since Election Day (November 8, 2016), there have been 27 unique leads that have come into our office.  This number is in line with the number of industrial leads we typically see in an entire year.  Things are looking bright for the industrial sector.  Act now before pricing increases.