May 17, 2020

Natural Gas Brings Economic Boom to Illinois

energy digital
Natural Gas
shale
Oil
Admin
4 min
Illinois' great potential for natural gas
New natural gas production from Southern Illinois shale has the potential to create more than 45,000 jobs in Illinois and $9 billion in economic inves...

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New natural gas production from Southern Illinois shale has the potential to create more than 45,000 jobs in Illinois and $9 billion in economic investment, according to a study released today by the <a href="//www.ilchamber.org">Illinois Chamber Foundation.</a></p>
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The study is the first of its kind to focus solely on Illinois&#39; potential when it comes to increased hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling &ndash; techniques that have been used in other states to create a nationwide boom in natural gas and oil production, as well as increasing economic development and much-needed jobs. The study, &quot;The Potential Economic Impact of New Albany Gas on the Illinois Economy,&quot; was conducted by Dr. David Loomis, president of Loomis Consulting and professor of economics at Illinois State University.&nbsp; It includes these findings:</p>
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Three different scenarios: The New Albany shale formation is well known in the oil and gas production world, but it&#39;s unknown if these drilling techniques will be effective in extracting natural gas (or oil) economically -- allowing for the ramp up of significant investment and production that has been seen in other areas of the country. Therefore, Dr. Loomis created three scenarios (low, medium, high) to determine the range of economic benefits that could come to Illinois.</p>
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Jobs and economic impact: The total employment impacts (direct, indirect and induced impacts) for the three different scenarios are:</p>
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1,034 new jobs for the low scenario</p>
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10,337 new jobs for the medium scenario</p>
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47,312 new jobs for the high scenario</p>
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This highest scenario translates into over $9.5 billion of economic impact for the state.</p>
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The high scenario is similar to the historical employment impacts of shale gas measured in Arkansas (9,683), Pennsylvania (44,098), Texas (Eagle Ford only &ndash; 47,097), and Louisiana (57,637).</p>
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The economic impact could be even greater &ndash; The study&#39;s estimates are conservative in part because they do not include the economic impact of land leases that would be given to local landowners, nor does it look at what could happen if exploration discovers extractable oil deposits, such as what was found in western North Dakota.</p>
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The study made comparisons to investments in other shale formations and based reasonable modeling assumptions from their experiences, including: gas production levels, number of wells drilled per year, costs per well and amount of local content (Illinois resources vs. those brought in from other states).</p>
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&quot;As we look at possible economic engines that could propel Illinois&#39; economy for decades to come, we need to look no further than the potential for increased natural gas production,&quot; said Doug Whitley, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.</p>
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&quot;Accessing natural gas in Illinois could produce many direct and indirect benefits and thousands of jobs,&quot; said Dr. Loomis, who also does annual studies showcasing the impact of Illinois&#39; wind industry. &quot;Illinois is in a great position to participate in this dynamic energy renaissance.&quot;</p>
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The Illinois Legislature is currently negotiating with oil and gas interests, business organizations and environmental groups to create regulatory guidelines for future hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in Illinois. The latest industry draft gives Illinois the chance to pass one of the most comprehensive set of protections in the country while providing the industry the certainty it needs to invest in the state.</p>
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&quot;Given the thousands of jobs at stake, we hope the Legislature will double their efforts to provide a workable regulatory road map so Illinois has the chance to join the energy production economic boom in the United States,&quot; said Tom Wolf, executive director of the Illinois Chamber&#39;s Energy Council. &quot;Illinois is in no position to turn away responsible job growth opportunities.&quot;</p>
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The amount of jobs at stake is not lost on people from the areas where the shale exists.</p>
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&quot;The results of this study showcase the exciting opportunities for local communities,&quot; said Norma Lansing, president of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce. &quot;The quantity and quality of jobs that are possible would be a huge boon for the economy in this area of the state.&quot;</p>
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SOURCE Illinois Chamber of Commerce</p>
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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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