Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania, April 20-27

Have to do this quick this week:

The big news since the last update is the blowout that occurred in a Chesapeake operated well in Bradford County on April 19th. What happened was that thousands of gallons of fracking fluid under pressure burst out of the well head and poured into  a nearby stream. This incident of course adds fuel to the fire in the fracking debate.

In order to raise money, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will lease more state-run hunting land to drillers.

S&T Bank is opening a new division to service landowners who are leasing property for drilling.

Reuters provides a rundown of the active players in the Marcellus drilling industry. Atlas has the most active wells (247) while Chesapeake holds the most permits (1229). Interestingly the latter only has 87 active wells listed.

Dow Chemical will build its first ethylene production plant in the U.S. since 1995 to take advantage of increasing shale-gas supplies. The plant will be built on the Gulf coast, not in PA. Ethylene is used as a petrochemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics.

Gastar Exploration Ltd. has been awarded another contract for their buried seismic array for use in Marcellus exploration.

James P. Teeple Jr., vice president for global operations for Weiler Corp.said in front of Senate Democratic Policy Committee that Pennsylvania should offer tax breaks to Marcellus Shale drillers that buy goods and services from Pennsylvania-based companies.

The Republican (PA) House Policy Committee heard testimony from two industry representatives, two regulators and a citizens' group on ideas to improve Marcellus operations and regulations.

Green Party members and others picketed DEP headquarters on April 21 in an Earth Day protest against hydrofracking.

A study by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center shows that energy companies in Pennsylvanis (including gas drillers) paid less in local and state taxes than they claim.

Michael Krancer, acting secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection believes that the drilling industry will soon stop discharging wastewater into streams. Pssst you could TELL them to stop.


Corbett's reluctance to tax drillers undermines confidence in his leadership

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