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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Activists Urge Army Corps to Reconsider Anti-Drilling Form Letters Protesting Frack Waste Facility

From the Athens County Fracking Action Network:
Over four thousand citizens from the Ohio River basin filed protests of Texas-based GreenHunter’s frackwaste barge dock facility permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last month. Because more than 3000 letters were sent through an alert by Food and Water Watch (FWW), the Corps is acknowledging fewer than 1000. Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN) encourages writers who used the FWW tool to e-mail Teresa Spagna of the Corps directly to request that their earlier comments be counted. Sending from your own e-mail account seems to be what the Corps requires to count your letter. Please send a short e-mail to Ms. Spagna requesting your earlier comment be counted. Ms. Spagna has told us that comments will be accepted until a decision is made. She has also stated that the Corps has no deadline for a decision. 
Citizens and public officials are concerned because the facility would permit offloading and aboveground storage of over one hundred million gallons of frackwaste shipped from the Gulf Coast as well as down the Ohio River. The 981 miles of the Ohio River provide drinking water to over 3 million people. Ten percent of the country lives in the Ohio River Basin. Why would the Corps even consider approving this project when the chemical makeup of radioactive frack waste is a guarded secret? Look at ongoing impacts of poisoned water on the cities of Charleston and Toledo and of C8, which after years is still poisoning the very region where this dock is proposed.

ACFAN and a coalition of concerned residents of West Virginia, Illinois, and Ohio have been working to alert the public and encourage letters of protest, joined by Athens County Commissioners and Athens City Council. The calls resulted in an extension of the original July comment period to Aug. 24.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chesapeake Energy Corporation Names Brad Sylvester Vice President - Investor Relations and Communications

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 21, 2014-- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced that Brad Sylvester will join Chesapeake as Vice President – Investor Relations and Communications. Sylvester joins Chesapeake from Southwestern Energy Company. He will report to Chesapeake’s Chief Financial Officer, Nick Dell’Osso.
Doug Lawler, Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Brad is a highly talented and proven investor relations professional with more than 20 years of solid experience in the exploration and production industry. His leadership skills and extensive experience uniquely qualify him to lead our Investor Relations and Communications teams. I look forward to working very closely with Brad as we continue to drive value for our shareholders.”
Dell’Osso added, “Brad has consistently been recognized as one of the industry’s top investor relations officers by both buy-side and sell-side analysts and investors. He will maintain and build those relationships as he highlights the differential investment opportunity available with Chesapeake.”
Sylvester served in various roles at Southwestern Energy Company from 1996 to 2014, most recently as Vice President – Investor Relations. Prior to that, Sylvester worked as a portfolio manager at Greenwood & Associates, Inc. Sylvester holds a CFA designation and received his Master of Business Administration from Texas Christian University and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from John Brown University.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is the second-largest producer of natural gas and the 11th largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company's operations are focused on discovering and developing its large and geographically diverse resource base of unconventional natural gas and oil assets onshore in the U.S. The company also owns substantial marketing and compression businesses. Further information is available at where Chesapeake routinely posts announcements, updates, events, investor information, presentations and news releases.

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Latest ODNR Report: Utica Shale Now Up to 1,499 Wells Permitted

The latest weekly Utica shale permitting update from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is now available.  The southern portion of the play remains the hot spot.

11 new permits were issued last week.  Leading the way: Monroe and Washington counties, each with 4 permits.  Belmont County (2) and Carroll County (1) rounded out the activity.

The 11 permits last week bring the new cumulative total to 1,499.  1,076 wells have now been drilled, 565 are producing, and the Utica rig count is 41.

View the report here.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Links for 9/15/14: Anti-Fracking Billboard in Ohio is Coming Down, The Media's Anti-Drilling Bias, and More

Bloomberg View:  College Students Can't Defeat Big Oil

Energy in Depth:  How the Media Rushes to Promote Fracking Critics

Akron Beacon Journal:  Anti-Fracking Ohio Billboard is Coming Down

The Motley Fool:  The Utica Shale is Starting to Look "Extraordinary"

Ideastream:  For Some, Shale Gas Boom's a Headache

Gas & Oil:  M3 Midstream Momentum "Trilogy" to Be Open by Mid-October

Penn State University:  Residual Hydraulic Fracturing Water Not a Risk to Groundwater

ScienceDirect:  The Fate of Residual Treatment Water in Gas Shale

Platts:  Utica Shale Q2 Gas Production Up Fivefold From Year Ago

Energy in Depth:  As Natural Gas Provides Environmental Benefits, Bill McKibben Scrambles to Defend Activists’ Stance

Gas & Oil:  Gas, Oil Industry Gives Home Sellers a Boost

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Kent Official Not a Fan of Proposed Fracking Ban

Jim Silver (left)
From Energy in Depth:
Youngstown anti-fracking activists managed to get their “Community Bill of Rights” – which has been overwhelmingly defeated three times already – on the ballot again this November, but they haven’t managed to impress too many people in the community. 
In fact, City of Kent Law Director Jim Silver (who claims to be a “self-described environmentalist”) said last week that the document is “terribly written,” contradictory and overly-broad. As the Record-Courier reported, Silver put it this way: 
“Besides precluding gas/oil harvesting process, the amendment would make it illegal to discharge anything into the air or water, no matter the circumstance, Silver said. If approved, Kent would become a ‘ghost town,’ Silver said, because it would be illegal to drive a car, cut grass with a gas mower or operate a gas heater because of the related emissions.” (emphasis added)
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Shale Driving Economic Turnaround in Ohio Cities

From Planetizen:
Youngstown had been one of those Rust Belt, "shrinking" cities long noted in Planetizen, but thanks in part to fracking and its location on the Utica shale formation, manufacturing has returned and unemployment has dropped by half since 2010.

"The turnaround is part of a transformation spreading across the heartland of the nation, driven by a surge in domestic oil and gas production that is changing the economic calculus for old industries and downtrodden cities alike," writes Nelson D. Schwartz, economics reporter for The New York Times.

Here in Ohio, in an arc stretching south from Youngstown past Canton and into the rural parts of the state where much of the natural gas is being drawn from shale deep underground, entire sectors like manufacturing, hotels, real estate and even law are being reshaped. 
One example provided is Paris-based Vallourec, a manufacturer of products for energy extraction. While it's not the Youngstown of old, it is a turnaround nonetheless.
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API Survey Reveals Extent of Economic Growth Behind American Oil and Natural Gas

From API:
API unveiled a new vendor survey today that demonstrates the diverse array of suppliers, service providers, and other small and midsized businesses supporting the U.S. energy renaissance.

“Oil and natural gas companies are only one part of a much larger economic success story that is creating job growth up and down the supply chain,” said API Upstream Group Director Erik Milito. “From the folks who make work gloves to environmental consultants, these businesses represent just a small cross-section of the opportunities created by America’s energy revolution.”

API’s 2014 vendor survey lists nearly 30,000 operators, contractors, service companies, suppliers, and other vendors that support oil and natural gas operations in every state and the District of Columbia. It includes individual state profiles, which detail job gains and salary information for industry-related work, as well as information on survey participants organized by congressional district.

“Thanks to innovations in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, America’s potential as an energy superpower is growing, and businesses of all types are growing with it,” said Milito. “Even outside of major oil and natural gas producing areas, the industry is creating jobs that pay about double the average salary for all industries. Overall, as of 2011, the oil and natural gas industry directly or indirectly supported 9.8 million U.S. jobs, and many more are expected over the next decade.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.
MDN has the Ohio portion of the report separated out.  Here it is:

View more information here.

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Esmark to Convert Ohio Cold Rolling Company Facilities to Support Energy Services Companies in Marcellus and Utica Shale Plays

Yorkville Energy Services Terminal To Provide Rail, Truck And Ohio River Barge Access To Companies Engaged in Oil & Gas Exploration and Production
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Esmark, Inc., a diversified holding company with interests in steel manufacturing and distribution, oil and gas exploration and production and real estate services, today announced that it is converting the former Ohio Cold Rolling Company steel finishing mill in Yorkville, Ohio into a tri-modal industrial services terminal to support companies engaged in oil and gas exploration and production in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Plays.
“With its on-site rail, truck and barge access and complementary heavy equipment, Yorkville Energy Services Terminal offers companies a fully integrated logistics and transportation solution.”
Esmark, which two years ago acquired the former Yorkville steel finishing mill and recently announced its closing, will repurpose the one million-square-foot mill facility into the newly named Yorkville Energy Services Terminal, a tri-modal (rail/truck/barge) logistics and transportation hub serving the Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia Shale Plays. Conversion and initial retrofitting of the facility infrastructure is already underway.
James P. Bouchard, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Esmark, Inc., said market dynamics, pricing disparities in the hot-rolled steel and tinplate markets, and the explosive growth of oil and gas exploration and production in the region were key factors in the decision to repurpose the Yorkville facility. “The steel services industry has changed dramatically since Esmark acquired the Yorkville finishing mill in 2012, and we believed the idled facility was ideally suited to serve companies engaged in oil and gas exploration and production,” he said. “With its on-site rail, truck and barge access and complementary heavy equipment, Yorkville Energy Services Terminal offers companies a fully integrated logistics and transportation solution.”
According to J. Gregory Pilewicz, President of Yorkville Energy Services Terminal and Esmark, Inc., the terminal market opportunity is driven by several powerful trends, including the forecast of continued steady growth in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Formation’s drilling and exploration fields. “The significant upstream, midstream and downstream expansion, coupled with the resources required for horizontal drilling in the region, provide a strategic opportunity for the terminal and we believe our tri-modal platforms and services infrastructure will be in great demand,” said Pilewicz.
Pilewicz added that as many as 50 to 75 jobs could be created at the terminal when operational.
Among the platforms, services and features available at the Yorkville Energy Services Terminal are:
  • Tri-Modal Logistics – Truck, Barge, Rail;
  • Fresh Water Off-Take – Possible 3 million gallons per day (Ohio River Permit);
  • Existing Water Treatment Plant;
  • Rail Access – Wheeling Lake Erie & Norfolk Southern Railways, including 13 Internal Rail Spurs;
  • Barge Access – Ohio River frontage with On-Site Barge Dock;
  • Dry Storage – one million-square-feet under one roof for interval laydown and trans-loading;
  • Industrial Utility Support including 33 Overhead Cranes;
  • Over 100 acres of open land; and
  • 10 Minutes from Interstate 70
Pilewicz said that a number of large and mid-sized energy services companies are interested in locating at the Yorkville Energy Services Terminal, including companies engaged in materials handling and trans-loading, rail switching and stowage, fresh water services, field lay-down, production flow-back water treatment and chemical store and forward. Discussions with several prospective tenants are underway.
About Esmark, Inc.
Esmark, Inc. is a diversified, privately-held family company with a portfolio of industrial companies with strong roots in the steel industry. Over the years, Esmark has diversified its interests and operations into a number of businesses engaged in the industrial and commodity sectors. Esmark (a former publicly traded company on NASDAQ: ESMK) has focused on several key industries including steel services, oil and gas exploration, aviation, real estate, professional services, technology and youth sports development. The Yorkville Energy Services Terminal is a wholly owned subsidiary of Esmark Realty, LLC. For more information on Esmark and its subsidiaries visit

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