By Alvin Engelke

Sen. Donna Boley, Delegate Anna Border Sheppard, former state VA man Mr. Cokeley and former County Commissioner Roy Copen were the speakers at the Creston Community program honoring veterans. A nice crowd was on hand to honor those who have and are serving. It was noted that over the last few months over 200 leaders in all branches of the military have been fired, apparently, at the behest of the Big Eared One, who like Madame Hillary, loathe the military. The term for such is generally a purge.

The big area news is the announcement by David Peebles, spokesperson for an outfit called Odebrecht that is considering building an ethane cracker down at Washington Bottom. Earl Ray the puppy breeder made the announcement and the sycophants told about how the ruling oligarchy, especially the ones from southern counties have been, for decades, looking to make things better for W. Va. citizens as is easily seen in Welch, Iaeger, Bluefield, Richwood, Williamson, etc. It was noted that they have done so well that West Virginia went from having 6 members of the House of Representatives to now having just 3 with a chance of going to two at the next census.

The ethane cracker would be used to convert ethane, a component of natural gas which is unusually plentiful in Marcellus gas in this area, to ethylene which is the raw material to make polyethylene plastics. On Tuesday before the announcement of the proposed Wood County facility, Mark West which operates fractionation plants in West Virginia and elsewhere [the places where the goodies, including ethane, propane, the butanes, etc. are removed from the natural gas stream] & Kinder Morgan announced that contracts had been signed to ship 400,000 bbl./day of ethane and other goodies to cracker plants in Texas. Also some of the ethane is to be sent to a facility in Ontario. MarkWest indicated that by next year they would have capacity to treat 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas/day and that their Majorsville plant in Marshall County alone would make 78,000 bbl./day of ethane. The Williams Company and Mother Hope also operate fractionation facilities that separate the components of natural gas.

Since it would appear that existing production and that coming on line to the north of the area is already committed to ethane crackers elsewhere, the building of a plant in Wood County would be for the purpose of dealing with the ethane to be produced from wells yet to be drilled in this local area.

Richard McFall was in the area looking after his oil interests.

Mr. & Mrs. Carl Ferrell & family were visiting Missy Ferrell in Pittsburgh and taking in the sites.

Rocket J was among the notables calling at the Creston Space Dock. Bullwinkle, Tatasha & Boris were nowhere to be seen.

Some of Antero's folks said that they didn't pay for the goodies that were taken out of the rich, wet natural gas produced from Marcellus & Utica wells and one pointed out that their leases didn't specifically say that they had to pay. With wells that are more than 50% gas liquids, that means that they are making out like bandits with mineral owners and the state, via the loss of severance and county taxes, end up also on the short end.

Local folks have been talking about the fiasco which is called "Obamacare" the low number who have signed up for the "good deals" from the sole provider and, of course, the statements that the government website is not secure and that information placed there can easily or has already been stolen by identity thieves. One wag noted that if one was able to get on the website and sign up there was a Nigerian prince that would gladly, if you provided him with your bank account & other personal information, share his immense wealth with you. Local folks almost daily get e-mails from these folks asking for assistance in the transfer of funds from Nigerian banks to "your account". At the moment 31.5% of medicare payments are fraudulent and surely no one would scam the new programs, especially with ACORN workers as navigators. Recently it was noted that SEIU, ACORN's sister union was the leader in a proposed hospital strike in Huntington. As someone said, "What could go wrong?" With policies being cancelled, as mandated by the new law, one can only hope that we all stay well and healthy.

BRC permitted a new Marcellus well in Greenbrier County. It seems apparent that liquids have been hauled for some time now from the Marcellus wells that were drilled at Fenwick and on the Cherry River near Richwood. It would make no sense to flare gas so as to be able to haul water up U. S. 19.

Some local folks were apprehended hunting deer after dark. It was noted that it might get expensive for some of those so charged. Meanwhile the DNR advised state residents to watch out for deer along the road and said that one should honk one's horn if one saw their prize critters. Presently dead deer are to be found all along local roadways. Not so long back the turkey buzzards were having a feast on the dePue straight and crows are dining everywhere. Even with the balmy weather the buzzards soon will be heading to the sunny south. While there had been some snow, it is now all gone and frogs were out on Saturday.

Rick Williams brought the message at the Burning Springs M. E. Church as Rev. Keith Belt was at preaching school.

Mr. & Mrs. Ottie Brumfield moved to Elizabeth.

Ann Newell, one of the best local family history experts, has been sojourning at one of the Charleston facilities where they serve breakfast in bed. Her host of friends & relatives hope that she gets on the mend.

Violet Gay Park was undergoing some tests. The experts forgot to tell her that one of the tests required prior fasting so she made one trip for nothing.

Bob Wix, age 91, of Parkersburg passed away at his home. He was a son of George "Doc" & Mary Wix of Creston. His father was a famous river boatman who worked as an engineer on the boats that formerly plied the Little Kanawha River.

Local Pennsylvania grade crude was quoted on Friday as bringing $91.34/bbl. with drip fetching $71.12, Marcellus & Utica light bringing $84.48 and medium $92.84/bbl.

It has been noted that because of increased oil production in America the spread between the price of "WTI" [West Texas Intermediate} which is the basis for local oil prices is now $12.77/bbl. less than the price for Brent crude which is oil produced in the North Sea -- that is to say the world price. Gasolene prices in the Parkersburg area have dropped to the $3.10 range while pump prices elsewhere in the state are significantly higher. It was noted that the current oil production in the U. S. has now equaled the amount produced in 1989 and that by 2015 America will be the largest producer in the world.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Hur Herald.

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