Saturday, December 13, 2014

Catching up, 12/13/14

Crounse Week is over. It was a success, given that the daily page views were five times what they normally are. I guess that means we will have more theme weeks as soon as I can select and plan one.

Meanwhile, let's catch up on some stuff that caught my eye this week.
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The Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky has issued a report with the title, "Inland Waterway Operational Model & Simulation Along the Ohio River". I downloaded it and looked through the executive summary. Toward the end I found this description of its contents:

Users have the capability of adjusting the effects of different variables to anticipate how the system may react, and what changes in vessel traffic patterns emerge. This information will be of great use for stakeholders wanting to gain a better understanding of what conditions lockage times will increase or decrease, why delays emerge, and consequently how these impact traffic flows on the river.

The entire PDF is more than 200 pages long. I have not yet read it. I might this weekend, or it may be something I forget about for a while until something jars my memory. Or until my computer says it's running low on memory. If anyone out there reads it and has thoughts on it, please let me know.

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The Ohio River flows over top of the Utica shale, a deep formation that is rich in natural gas and various liquids. Most of the Utica drilling so far has been in Ohio, although I believe at least one company plans to drill a test well in the Utica in West Virginia soon. West Virginia and Pennsylvania are better known for their gas and gas liquids production from the Marcellus shale, which lies over the Utica in those states.

Here is one article that talks about trends in Utica drilling in Ohio. Don't expect to see a lot of natural gas being transported on the river, but there is activity in recovering the liquids. I have not heard how that might affect opportunities for river transport, whether in the raw liquids or the processed products, but surely there must be some.

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Meanwhile, some groups are opposing plans to drill and frack for natural gas and gas liquids in the Marcellus shale under the Ohio River, and some groups want to prevent the river from being used to transport waste frackwater from drilled wells to injection wells for disposal. Here is one report from the Ohio side of the river, and here is a report from the West Virginia side.