Today I listened in on the webcast of the Marathon Petroleum quarterly earnings report. There was a lot of insider talk about the oil industry, including a few things having to do with the Ohio River.
Donald Templin, the company's senior vice president and chief financial officer, said the company plans to spend $300 million between now and the end of 2014 to bring crude oil and condensates from the Utica shale fields in Ohio to the refinery at Catlettsburg, Ky. That includes completing the truck-to-barge facility on the river at Wellsville, Ohio, and buying new barges to deliver the liquids to Catlettsburg. He did not mention buying any additional boats, so I assume Marathon would use what's in its fleet now or contract some of that work out.
The $300 million includes work at the refinery at Canton, Ohio, which also will process the shale liquids.
On a related note, Marathon officials said they're not interested in using rail to deliver crude from various shale fields to their refineries. They're sticking with pipelines.
And veering off a little more, last week I listened in on the conference call that Norfolk Southern's top executives had with investment analysts. One exec said NS will not be buying any new coal cars this year. Instead, it will rebody old ones as needed. That's in part because the coal business is down on NS (and other railroads) and it's expected to stay down this year, too.
I love the Ohio River. I enjoy reading about the river, smelling the river, photographing the river, listening to its sounds ... and we can share them here.
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