New Report: Marcellus Shale a Game-Changer for the U.S.

Since the 2008 boom, the Marcellus Shale has been seen by the natural gas industry as a tremendous resource for clean and abundant energy.

A recent study now reiterates that perception and finds the Marcellus Shale will have an even bigger impact.

As reported by, “A new report released today from Morningstar, Inc. further underscores what the U.S. and Pennsylvania governments, along with countless other independent experts, have established: The emergence of the Marcellus Shale—the vast gas-bearing rock formation in the northeastern United States—is a game-changer for the U.S. energy industry.

And according to this new report — and many others — previous Marcellus Shale production rates and potentials have proven ‘embarrassingly conservative.’”

Read the full article here.

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Texas company plans $468 million pipeline to ship Utica Shale natural gas to Gulf Coast

As we noted in our last e-newsletter, the race is on to build out the midstream infrastructure required to move shale gas from the Marcellus and Utica regions to other markets for wholesale and export.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports, “Traditionally, gas has flowed from the Gulf Coast and western North America to the eastern part of the nation. But as the Utica play in Ohio and the Marcellus play in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio continue producing natural gas, projections show Ohio and surrounding states could become net natural gas exporters.”

Read the entire article here.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Reports That Noise Solutions Offers Fracking a Way to Keep Quiet

Noise Solutions’ plant in Sharon, Pa. offers an innovative noise-reducing technology aimed at helping the natural gas industry and others.  Read the full story here.

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LNG for Locomotives, Too?

We have written before about LNG vehicles and fleets — now locomotives are also looking to the fuel as a better alternative for efficiency and affordability. The State Journal reports that CSX, among other companies, is exploring the option. We will be watching to see how this exciting pilot project plays out. Learn more below.


CSX looks at liquefied natural gas for locomotives

By Linda Harris
Friday, November 22, 2013

CSX and GE Transportation are partnering in a pilot project that will explore the use of liquefied natural gas to power locomotives, but theirs is by no means the only such initiative underway.

BNSF Railway, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern and Canadian National Railway also are or have looked at the feasibility of using the more economical LNG.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” Marcellus Shale Coalition Spokesman Travis Windle said. “And there are other railroad companies … testing it.

In announcing the pilot project, CSX Exective Vice President and COO Oscar Munoz said LNG technology “has the potential to offer one of the most significant developments in railroading since the transition from steam to diesel in the 1950s.”

CSX said natural gas-fueled locomotives can travel longer distances without refueling, and gas also offers environmental and economic benefits the company said make freight rail “an even more attractive transportation solution and furthers the industry’s ability to absorb traffic from the nation’s highways in an environmentally efficient way.”

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Odebrecht to Explore Appalachian Industrial Investment

Press release from the office of W.Va. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin:

Odebrecht to Explore Appalachian Industrial Investment

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Odebrecht announced today that Odebrecht will explore the development of a new petrochemical complex in Wood County, West Virginia. The complex, Ascent – Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise ̶ would include an ethane Cracker, three polyethylene plants, and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation. A purchase option on the anticipated project site in Parkersburg has already been secured.

“Although we realize much work remains to be done, this announcement of a potential project is tremendous news for our state and our region. I appreciate the hard work of my team from the Development Office and the Ascent team members who have come together to explore this investment. I look forward to working closely with them to help bring the project to fruition,” Gov. Tomblin said.

Ascent’s feasibility will depend on several important variables, including the contracting of long-term ethane supply, as well as financing, regulatory approvals, and appropriate governmental support.

Odebrecht will lead Ascent’s investment and financing, as well as the operation of water and electric utilities. “Project Ascent fits within Odebrecht’s commitment to be a partner in development in the regions where we operate,” stated Fernando Reis, CEO of Odebrecht Environmental. “Moreover, Ascent fits into the strategy of our Utilities division, which seeks to invest and manage industrial assets.”

Braskem would be responsible for petrochemical-related activities as well as the commercialization of the polyethylene after the investment is completed. “As the United States’ leader in polypropylene production and with a significant footprint already in the region, we are excited about today’s announcement,” stated Fernando Musa, CEO of Braskem America. “Should Ascent materialize we look forward to serving our clients in the polyethylene market.”

About Odebrecht: Founded in 1944, Odebrecht is a company of Brazilian origin with a global presence. Odebrecht is Latin America’s leader in engineering and construction, chemicals and petrochemicals, and also operates in the areas of bioenergy, water utilities, defense, real estate, oil & gas, shipbuilding, and transportation and logistics. Operating in 26 countries, Odebrecht has more than 190,000 team members of 70 different nationalities and exports products and services to more than 70 countries worldwide. Odebrecht’s global revenues equaled $41.3 billion in 2012. Odebrecht has been serving clients and investing in the United States for more than 23 years. For more information, please visit

About Braskem: Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas. With 36 industrial plants in Brazil, the United States and Germany, the company produces over 35 billion pounds of thermoplastic resins and other petrochemicals per year. Braskem is the world’s leading biopolymers producer with its 440 million pound green polyethylene plant that produces polyethylene from sugarcane-based ethanol. For more information about Braskem and its products, visit

About Odebrecht Environmental: In partnerships with communities, governments and businesses, Odebrecht Environmental invests in sustainable technologies to develop solutions in water and wastewater systems, industrial utilities and waste management. Part of the Odebrecht Organization, the company builds and operates water and wastewater services in several Brazilian states, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Pernambuco and Tocantins, covering 160 municipalities and benefiting 13.2 million people. Odebrecht Environmental has plants in large industrial operations in Brazil, treating effluents, recycling water and treating and properly disposing residues. For more information, visit

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Former Chesapeake Energy VP Rotruck Joins Spilman


Scott Rotruck

Scott Rotruck

Scott Rotruck joined Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC as Director of Energy and Transportation Services. As a member of the Spilman government relations team, focusing on the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, Rotruck will assist clients as a problem-solver, a channel to reach policymakers, a conduit to marketplace opportunities and an experienced advisor.

“Scott brings valuable marketplace expertise and thought leadership to Team Spilman,” said Michael J. Basile, Spilman’s managing member. “He strengthens and diversifies our long-standing energy practice, allowing us to provide an even greater level of excellence and value to clients.”

Rotruck most recently served as Chesapeake Energy’s Vice President of Corporate Development and State Government Relations. With decades of experience in the railroad, coal, and oil and gas industries, he will collaborate with Spilman attorneys to serve clients in the areas of government relations, natural resources, energy, environmental and public utility law.

Rotruck recently received the 2013 West Virginia University Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Recognition Award. Eberly College bestows the award annually on alumni who have made important contributions to their communities and within their professions. Rotruck earned his undergraduate degree from WVU and his master’s degree in business administration from Frostburg State University.

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New Weight Restrictions to Be Seen on Pa. Bridges

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, concerned about structurally deficient and deteriorating bridges, is posting weight restrictions on bridges all across the state. Trucks supporting the shale gas industry should be on alert for the possibility of new weight restrictions affecting their current routes. Click here for information on the PennDOT page about the decision to post restrictions and a map and list of affected bridges.


PennDOT Bridge Concerns

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Buffalo Township, Union County- This bridge over Spruce Run in Buffalo Township near Lewisburg is in need of repairs. PennDOT says the state has yet to budget enough money needed to repair or replace nearly a thousand similar bridges across the Commonwealth.

“If we don’t have money to repair or replace these bridges in the foreseeable future, we need to look at ways we can stretch their service life. And one of the ways we are going to do that is posting some of these bridges with weight restrictions.” Said Rick Mason of PennDOT

The problem is widespread. These bridges literally dot the state map. Engineers have identified bridges that should no longer be used to support heavier vehicles. Road crews will soon begin posting signs like these. Heavier vehicles should stay away. It’s a way to buy time without spending money until the bridge is repaired.


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The Shale Play Today – July 2013

The latest issue of The Shale Play Today is out. This month, articles touch on Pennsylvania’s Oil & Gas Lease Act, updates from WV DEP and more.

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Another Gas-Powered Electric Power Plant in the Works in Ohio

Natural gas companies in the Marcellus and Utica Shales will have another end-user in Ohio in a few years when Carroll County Energy builds a new natural gas-powered electric power plant. 


Private company plans Ohio electric plant
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CARROLLTON, Ohio (AP) — A private company says a planned $800 million electric power plant in eastern Ohio will be powered by natural gas from shale drilling.

The Akron Beacon Journal ( ) reports that Carroll County Energy plans to build the 700-megawatt plant on 77 acres near Carrollton, southeast of Canton.

The company said it will be powered with the natural gas being extracted from Utica shale in Ohio by the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.


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Consol to Concentrate on Gas

Consol Energy is taking bold steps toward updating its current business model to reflect changing energy needs and interests in the U.S. and abroad. The company plans to put more focus on its gas interests moving forward. Read on for more on how it plans to do so.


Consol to direct its energy toward gas production, CEO says

Consol Energy wants investors to start viewing it as more of a gas company than a gas and coal conglomerate, and is prepared to sell assets to finance more drilling in the gas fields of Appalachia, company Chief Executive Officer J. Brett Harvey said this morning.

Consol’s growing presence in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale and Ohio’s Utica Shale will be funded in part through the selling or restructuring of other elements of its portfolio, such as its barge or pipeline businesses.


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