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Business news briefs — March 3

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Gas price drops

The monthly natural gas price for residential customers who have chosen Dominion’s Standard Choice Offer (SCO), or those who don’t choose their own supplier, will go down effective March 14. The Standard Choice Offer and what is called the Standard Service Offer (SSO) rate is being rounded to $5.46 per thousand cubic feet (mcf).

The price is 70 cents/mcf or 11.4 percent lower than the February rate of $6.16/mcf. The February rate jumped up with the arctic chill experienced in the area. Dominion said pricing continues to reflect higher national market prices as a result of colder-than-normal winter weather compared with a year ago.

The new rate is $1.43/mcf or 35.5 percent higher than the price a year ago, when prices were at relatively record lows.

The SCO price is based on a state-approved formula of wholesale prices and an approved extra charge called an “adder.”

Under the new filing, the average SCO/SSO residential customer’s bill for the month of March 2014 would be $110.91, up $10.21, or 10.1 percent, from $100.70 in March 2013.

Residential customers pay the same usage-based charges to deliver gas to a residence and $22.01 monthly service fee whether they choose a supplier or stay with Dominion.

Energy hearing set

The Ohio Power Siting Board is holding a public hearing on Thursday on a 700-megawatt electric generation plant in Carroll County.

The hearing on the $800 million plant that will burn natural gas to produce electricity will begin at 6 p.m. at the Carrollton High School fine arts room, 252 Third St. NE, Carrollton.

The proposed plant would be built by Carroll County Energy LLC, a private company.

The company, a subsidiary of Boston-based Advanced Power Services, has an agreement with General Electric to develop the Ohio plant using GE’s gas turbine technologies. The plant will capture waste heat to generate additional electricity.

It would be on 77 acres east of state Route 9 in Washington Township about 2.5 miles north of Carrollton. The plant would cover about 17 acres and could be in operation by May 2017. It would produce enough electricity to serve 700,000 houses.

The plant will provide up to 500 construction jobs and will employ 25 to 30 workers when completed.

More information is available online at

Wooster gets honor

Wooster earned a No. 1 ranking in the nation from Site Selection magazine for its economic activity in 2013.

Wooster was ranked among communities with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 for new or expanded business facilities during the year. Wooster led with 27 compared with 19 for No. 2 Tupelo, Miss. In state rankings, Ohio placed No. 2 with 480 projects. No. 1 was Texas with 657. Ranked another way, by tallying projects compared with per capita (per 1 million population), Nebraska was first and Ohio was second.

Drilling halted

Texas-based Halcon Resources has suspended drilling operations in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The suspension was confirmed on Monday in an email from the company. Halcon Resources currently has no rigs running in the Utica shale, said spokesman Jordan Beadling in Houston. He said the company is waiting for results from two wells.

“At this time, we do not plan to move in any rigs this year,” he said. The company has three producing wells in Trumbull County, where one additional well has been drilled, one is being drilled and three have been permitted. In Mahoning County, it has one producing Utica well with two additional wells permitted. It also has drilled Utica wells in western Pennsylvania in Mercer, Venango and Crawford counties. It has leased about 139,000 acres in Ohio and Pennsylvania.


Dow falls 154 points

The S&P 500 index fell 13.72 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,845.73, the biggest drop since Feb. 3. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 153.68 points, or 0.9 percent, to 16,168.03. The Nasdaq composite fell 30.82 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,277.30.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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