American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 162

ConventionCoverage: Ohio Oil & Gas Association

Economics Will Attract Petrochemicals
COLUMBUS, OH,-A new analysis
concludes that the Shale Crescent area-a
section of the Ohio Valley encompassing
portions of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania-is the most economic place in
the world to locate an ethylene plant,
Artex Oil Co. President Jerry James reported to the Ohio Oil & Gas Association
at its 2018 winter conference, held March
7-9 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.
James, an OOGA past-president and
volunteer director for Shale Crescent USA,
which is an economic development project
that seeks to attract end-users to the area,
explained that an IHS Markit study confirmed Shale Crescent's message.
"IHS considered the profitability of a
plant located here and one on the Gulf
Coast," James described. "If you look at
the undiscounted value, there is $3.6 billion
more profit if you build a plant here."
Other speakers at OOGA's conference
included Independent Petroleum Association of America Executive Vice President
Lee Fuller, who discussed oil and gas
policy developments in Washington, analyst G. Allen Brooks with PPHB LP,
who considered the world's energy outlook, and geologist and author Gregory
Wrightstone, who discussed his book on
climate change, Inconvenient Facts: The

A study by IHS Markit indicates a portion
of the Ohio Valley is the world's most
profitable location to build a petrochemical plant, reports Artex Oil Co. President
Jerry James, an OOGA past-president
and volunteer director for Shale Crescent
USA. James offered his remarks on the
second day of OOGA's winter conference,
held March 7-9 in Columbus, Oh.

Science that Al Gore Doesn't Want You
to Know.
The Place For Plants
According to James, IHS Markit's 110page study projects future regional ethane
prices and gives the Shale Crescent area
a 23 percent advantage. "This is a critical
issue," he said. "The study finds that feedstock is the number-one cost variable."
More cost savings come from the fact
that 70 percent of U.S. polyethylene demand is within a day's drive of the Shale
Crescent region, he detailed. "This is
where the rubber meets the road," James
suggested. "If you look at the net present
value of building a plant-just like we do
when we drill wells-it is four times higher
in the Shale Crescent than on the Gulf
Coast."
The $3.6 billion additional profit "approaches the cost of the plant, itself,"
James marveled.
The study maintains that much of that
advantage originates in lower shipping
costs for both the ethane input and polyethylene pellet output.
"You avoid the cost of shipping ethane
to the Gulf Coast and you avoid the cost
of shipping the finished polyethylene pellets back here, where most of the demand
is," he detailed. "That is how you save
$3.6 billion."
The region enjoyed manufacturing
booms in the late 1800s and after World
War II because it offered affordable fuel,
abundant water, a skilled labor force and
a market. Now, natural gas and natural
gas liquids output from the Marcellus
and Utica shales appear to have set the
stage for a third boom, he held.
"The most profitable place to build a
petrochemical plant in the world has
changed; this is big news," he considered.
"These are jobs that will last for generations."
Intense And Exhausting
IPAA's Fuller spoke to OOGA by way
of video conference. Although he had
planned to attend the convention, he indicated, advocating on the industry's
behalf about President Trump's plans to
impose tariffs on U.S. imports of steel
and aluminum had forced him to stay in
Washington.
Fuller reflected on the significance of
the federal tax reform Trump signed a

162 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

few months earlier. "That was a remarkable
achievement," he reasoned. "It changes
the whole model for the process and time
requirements of passing a comprehensive
bill. Usually, those bills take years to put
together. Even if they are done in one
Congress, it usually is late because it
takes that long to get through the process.
"Doing it through the budget reconciliation process and dealing with only Republican votes is an enormous challenge
that really is a credit to the leadership of
the House and Senate," he continued.
"Obviously, the pace of that action leads
to issues that will evolve as people deal
with the new provisions, and there will
need to be corrections. The pathway to
those looks difficult, simply because of
the challenge any legislation will create."
Despite Republicans' control of the
White House and both chambers of Congress, he noted, gridlock largely characterizes federal legislative activity. Moreover, he predicted gridlock could worsen
if Democrats won majorities in the House
or Senate.
"It will change the process dramatically,

Although carbon dioxide probably contributes to recent centuries' rise in atmospheric temperatures, the associated
benefits are an overwhelming net benefit
to humanity, suggests author and geoscientist Gregory Wrightstone. He noted
that cold was responsible for far more
climate-related deaths than heat and
pointed out that NASA data show a much
greater proportion of Earth is greening
than browning.



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

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