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Marathon may delay Ohio River project

Marathon Petroleum Corp. may delay development of property in Wellsville, along the Ohio River, until state lawmakers decide whether to increase oil and gas production taxes, The (East Liverpool) Review reported Wednesday.
Columbiana County Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Tracy Drake said Marathon officials have expressed concern about proposals to increase the taxes, The Review said.
Marathon Petroleum operates a storage tank/transfer station next door to the port authority’s industrial park in Wellsville. The port authority agreed last year to sell 3.6 acres to Marathon for $2.4 million, which the company intends to develop into a truck staging area for handling up to 24,000 barrels of oil and natural gas bound for its terminal from drilling operations in the region.
According to Drake, Marathon officials said that while the company still intends to complete the property purchase, they are worried an “excessive” tax increase might cause some drilling companies to move operations to other states, The Review reported.
Drake said the company has indicated it may delay development until the tax issue is resolved.
Gov. John Kasich has said he will veto any tax increase bill he believes to be detrimental to the state’s growing oil and gas industry.

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