New Castle News

TOP STORIES

December 20, 2013

Top 10 Stories, Number 10: Natural gas industry booming in county

NEW CASTLE — Natural gas continues to establish a strong foothold in Lawrence County.

Since the first permits were issued here for Marcellus/Utica shale well drilling two years ago, drilling companies and larger corporations have begun establishing well pads, laying major gas transmission pipelines and constructing a cryogenic gas processing plant just over the Lawrence County line in Ohio.

Those activities have signaled a wave in the gas market’s future in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, while plans are beginning for a gas-fueled electricity generating plant in North Beaver Township.

And Shell Chemical is still considering the construction of a petrochemical plant in Midland, Beaver County.

Pulaski Township has seen the most shale drilling activity in the county so far. Several well pads are established or in the planning, and each well pad has multiple wells.

Hilcorp Energy Corp. has built two well pads on properties of Laird Whiting on Garner Road and Richard Kinkela on Valley View Road.

Work is beginning for a well pad on the Howard Artman property on Maple Lane, and the township recently granted conditional use approvals for that and one for Ratvasky Landscape Supply off Garner and Nashua roads.

Four others planned in the township have not yet gone through the township hearing process for their required conditional use approvals.

 Drilling is expected to get under way next year in neighboring Mahoning Township, where, according to Supervisor Vito Yeropoli, construction of one well pad is starting off Garner Road and several more are planned.

“There’s really nothing pumping, yet,” he said, and the township has not had any zoning hearings for conditional use approvals.

The Hickory Bend pipeline will pass through Mahoning Township, and Yeropoli said that work is scheduled to start Jan. 6.

In North Beaver Township, one well pad exists on the Kephart property, but that is the only one in the township so far.

On the eastern end of the county, Shell Appalachia has been doing exploratory drilling on leased acreage in Slippery Rock and Washington townships.

In March 2012, Shell Chemical signed a land option agreement for a site near Monaca in Beaver County for possible construction of a petrochemical plant.

The next steps for this project include additional site evaluation, further engineering design studies, assessment of local ethane supply, and continued evaluation of the economic viability of the project, according to information from Shell Chemical’s website.

The company sought bids for ethane suppliers for the proposed petrochemical complex in the fall, and the cutoff date for those bids was Oct. 4.

Shell Chemical still has critical milestones to achieve before making a final investment decision on whether to proceed with construction of the proposed complex, according to its website information.

Meanwhile, four major gas pipelines are in the works that will pass through Lawrence County.

The Hickory Bend Gathering System will extend about 55 miles through northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

That project will have two different pipelines coming through the area, according to Sara Barczyk, manager of community relations for NiSource Midstream Services.

Hickory Bend is a project of NiSource, which also is building a cryogenic gas processing plant in New Middletown, Ohio, in partnership with Harvest Pipeline Co., which is the midstream subsidiary of Hilcorp Energy.

A third project is the Sunoco Allegheny Access pipeline, originating in Mogadore, Ohio, and going south to Vanport in Beaver County, crossing through a section of Little Beaver Township.

The fourth pipeline is part of the Bluegrass Pipeline project by Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners. Locally, it will originate near Grove City in Mercer County and extend southwest through Lawrence County into Ohio and ultimately to Kentucky.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.

     
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

House Ads
Poll

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results