SMG’s April Elite Energy Event

By On May 5, 2015 12:10 am

By: Kristie Kubovic, Director of Communications, Shale Media Group
Contribution By: Rick Stouffer, Senior Energy Editor, Shale Energy Business Briefing
Edited By: Mindy Gattner, Editor, Shale Media Group
Photos By: Shale Media Group

Shale Media Group (SMG) hosted its April Elite Energy Event (E3) on Thursday, April 23, at the Holiday Inn Express in Bentleyville, PA. The events brought a variety of individuals together from across the energy spectrum in a fun, networking setting to discuss energy-related news. Some companies in attendance at the event included 3 Rivers Water, B&B Oilfield Equipment Corporation, B&W Insurance Agency, Chapman Corporation, Davis Law, MarkWest Energy Partners, Shale Energy Institute, Shepherd Technologies, and Sierra w/o Wires.

Tejas Gosai, CEO, Shale Media Group, emceed the April event, which included Rick Stouffer, Senior Energy Editor, Shale Energy Business Briefing; Shane Hollerich, COO, Kryptonite Energy Services; Jody Kennon, CEO, Kryptonite Energy Services; and Joe D’Amico, Board Member, North American Coalbed Methane (NACBM) Forum, as speakers.

e3.1Gosai and Stouffer began the lineup by focusing on recent shale oil and gas industry headlines. A large portion of the conversation centered on the possible cracker plants coming to the region, including a newly announced project. A Thai-Japanese partnership on Wednesday, April 22, revealed that after two years of shopping, the joint venture has selected Belmont County, Ohio, as its choice for an ethane cracker, should the project move forward.

PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest chemical company, and Marubeni, a Japanese trading/investment house, is considering building a world-scale petrochemical complex that would use natural gas liquids, particularly ethane, produced in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, according to Ohio Governor John Kasich’s office.

The project is the third potential world class cracker project under serious consideration for construction in the Appalachian Basin to take advantage of the ethane produced from the Marcellus and Utica plays. Ethane is converted into ethylene, a feedstock for the petrochemical industry, particularly plastics.

Royal Dutch Shell/Shell Chemical was the first to announce it was evaluating the Horsehead Corp complex in Beaver County, PA for a world-class cracker. A final investment decision hasn’t been made, although Shell has purchased the property and adjacent land, razed all buildings on the site, and the State of Pennsylvania has relocated roads in anticipation of a favorable decision to spend $4-$5 billion at the site.

Last year, Brazilian company Odebrecht and its American subsidiary Braskem said they had chosen Parkersburg, WV, to study as a site for its proposed Appalachian ethane cracker facility, dubbed Project Ascent. However, the company said on Wednesday, April 22, it is reconsidering moving forward with the project since plummeting oil prices have eaten away at the price advantage natural gas had over crude.

Additionally, Stouffer discussed West Virginia’s recent release of the state’s oil and natural gas severance tax collections, which more than doubled in 2014 (the latest period available) according to the WV Department of Revenue. Income rose to roughly $188 million last year, from $79.2 million in 2013.

Overall natural gas production increased to almost 742 Bcf in 2013, from roughly 539.5 Bcf in 2012. Combined conventional and unconventional oil production spiked sharply between 2012-2013, to 6.9 million barrels (MMBbl), from roughly 2.6 MMBbl.

Stouffer wrapped up with an outlook for natural gas-powered vehicles, which, despite a drop in diesel prices stemming from the crude oil price plummet, are expected to grow as they offer big, long-term cost savings. Tumbling prices for diesel have reduced the savings that can be had by switching to trucks powered by natural gas, but the savings that exist are still sizeable and no one expects diesel prices to stay at their low current levels.

e3.2Next up, Hollerich and Kennon spoke about Kryptonite Energy Services, a specialized shale oil and gas service company that provides pressure testing, torque wrench services, grease skids, methanol injection, and valve maintenance to the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. The company is headquartered in Claysville, PA and operates 24 hours/day, seven days/week. Due to the company’s convenient location, Kennon says, “Kryponite can easily access the tristate area of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.”

Kennon also explained, “Torque wrench and pressure testing services are performed before any operation begins and are important to make sure the equipment is functioning properly and that there are no leaks. The process can be as simple as an hour or take a couple of days, depending on the circumstances.”

e3.3Hollerich added, “Kryptonite was established by an experienced team. The efficiency of our operations has allowed Kryptonite to significantly undercut the competition and focus on what is important—safety and maintaining our top of the line equipment. We are both PICS and ISNetworld® certified.”

Then D’Amico concluded by discussing both shale and coal. The North American Coalbed Methane (NACBM) Forum was established in 1985 to develop and increase recovery of coalbed methane (CBM) as an energy resource and advance mine safety, by collecting coalbed methane from deep mines before the coal is mined. D’Amico says, “The 30 year old organization is just scientists, engineers, mine managers, lawyers, and finance looking for and presenting the facts and asking, ‘How can we recover and utilize the CBM?’.”

e3.4D’Amico relayed that coal was upset about shale in the beginning, but noted the two are similar and even use similar horizontal drilling technology. “When you look at the world that we lived in before shale, the US was dependent on the Persian Gulf. This American source of energy is a good thing for this country,” expressed D’Amico, who added that America has both coal and shale, “There is a lot of good technology and people in the Forum.” However, he did point out, “Detailed ‘utization’ analyses of coal and natural gas needs to be conducted. Coal should be used for large ‘base load’ electrical power stations with the latest ‘clean coal’ technologies, while natural gas should be used for ‘distributed heat’ or pipeline distribution, where thermodynamic efficiencies are as high as 90%, while burning natural gas to make electricity is only about 30%.”

e3.5At the Elite Energy Event, Rich Bubin of Ice Creations had an ice sculpture of a bull on display to represent SMG’s hopeful, optimistic look for the industry. In addition, attendees were treated to tasty catering by Catering America. The next Elite Energy Event will be on May 28 from 5 PM to 8 PM outside in front of the Holiday Inn Express in Bentleyville, PA. To sign up for SMG’s May E3, click here.

Shale Media Group (SMG) is the news, information, and education resource dedicated to the shale oil and gas industries by messaging across video, Internet, publications, events, and radio. For more, check out ShaleMediaGroup.com to access all platforms, including: TheMarcellusShale.com, TheUticaShale.com, and ShaleEnergyNow.com. Kristie Kubovic is the Director of Communications at Shale Media Group. Contact her at Kristie@ShaleMediaGroup.com.