Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pennsylvania Marcellus News Roundup, Aug. 22-30

Energy Department says it will slash Marcellus Shale gas estimate, after USGS report
The USGS report, released Tuesday, estimates that the eight-state Marcellus Shale region contains some 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas. That amount is far higher than the geological service had estimated in a 2002 report, but far below a recent projection by the Energy Department.
 The conflicting reports prompted confusion and finger pointing amid growing questions about the extent of natural gas reserves available in the Marcellus region, which is in the midst of a drilling boom stretching from New York to West Virginia.
Natural Gas Reserves Debate Intensifies
A new US government estimate for the amount of natural gas contained in the Marcellus Shale is sharply lower than earlier projections.

But the new estimate has not undermined expectations that the Eastern US field will become one of America's most important energy sources in coming years.
Natural-gas data fuels ‘fracking’ battle
New federal estimates of the natural-gas resources beneath Eastern states are quickly touching off fresh battles over the controversial hydraulic fracturing drilling method.
The U.S. Geological Survey this week greatly increased its estimate of recoverable natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation that underlies major areas of Pennsylvania, New York and other states.
But while USGS boosted its mean estimate from 2 trillion cubic feet to 84 TCF — almost enough to meet four years of current U.S. demand — the figure is far lower than the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) most recent projection.
Study shows questions remain about economic benefits of Marcellus Shale
The results suggest that in 2009, Marcellus Shale development supported between 23,385 and 23,884 jobs in the state and generated around $3.1 billion in economic activity. This included about $1.2 billion in labor income and nearly $1.9 billion in added value.

"These results are about half the size of those estimated in previous Marcellus economic-impact studies," Kelsey said. "But this isn't surprising because we had more detailed information about leasing and royalty income. Our results confirm that where leasing and royalty dollars are going significantly influences the estimated overall impacts."
SEC Bears Down on Fracking
The federal government's investor-and-markets watchdog is stepping into the heated environmental debate surrounding hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," according to government and industry officials, even as state and federal environmental officials have begun to bring greater pressure on the industry.
EPA meets with Pa. residents over drilling fears
More than a dozen people met with a contingent of federal officials in a private home in Susquehanna County, near the spot where a pipeline company was forced to halt work this month after repeated spills of nontoxic drilling mud into one of the state's most pristine streams.
Ross Considers Ordinances to Regulate Marcellus Shale Drilling
Ordinances to control Marcellus Shale drilling in Ross Township will soon be on the table for consideration, officials said.
UGI says region will be first to go all-Marcellus
UGI Utilities Inc. plans to make the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area its first region in Pennsylvania where customers will receive all their natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
Western Pa. artists to air both sides of fracking
A tiny art gallery named for northwestern Pennsylvania's 19th century oil boom is asking local artists to weigh in on both sides of the fracking debate as Marcellus Shale gas drilling increases in the state.
One Month Later, Corbett Stays Vague On Marcellus Report’s Recommendations late August, Corbett is staying vague on which of the commission’s 96 recommendations he’ll stick with, and which he’ll cast aside.
“We’re still reviewing it in detail,” he said at the Elizabethtown Fair, in rural Lancaster County. “We’re looking at the entire report, not just any one aspect. Breaking it down, as to what can we do without legislation? What may require regulation. What’s the time frame in that.”
The comments mirrored what Corbett told reporters on July 28: “I’m still reading it,” he said at the time.
Earthquake centered in Va. rolls across Pa.
The quake did not appear to have any impact on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. The state Department of Environmental Protection, the Marcellus Shale Coalition trade group and representatives from drilling companies Chesapeake Energy Corp., Range Resources Corp. and Chief Oil & Gas LLC all said there were no reports of damage.
Nutter resists a role in shale showdown
The Convention Center next month will host a conference called Shale Gas Insight 2011, bringing some of the biggest names in the energy industry - and their political patrons - to Philadelphia.
As mayor of the host city, Michael Nutter no doubt would like to welcome the industry bigs and thank them for bringing their business here, something he occasionally does for conventioneers.
But as a Democrat who wants to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the nation, he could be seen as betraying core principles and political allies.
Instead, he seems determined to stay on the sideline.
State Rep. Boyle Supports Natural Gas Extraction Tax
Despite promises by Governor Tom Corbett to veto any legislation that taxes companies extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation, State Representative Brendan Boyle believes that the tax will happen in the near future.
Marcellus Shale sparks start-up’s plans to build ethane plant
Aither Chemicals LLC CEO Len Dolhert said his company’s technology for converting, or cracking, ethane extracted from the wet part of the Marcellus Shale play can be used for plants as small as $200 million. Capital costs for a traditional steam cracker would be expected to be at least $1 billion.
Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission Schedules Hearing in Williamsport
The Citizens Commission will hold five hearings across Pennsylvania to seek citizen perspectives on the Marcellus Shale. Sign up to participate at our first hearing on Wednesday, August 31, 2011, at South Fayette Middle School in McDonald, Pa. (near Pittsburgh). All hearings will be held from 6-9 pm and include time for public comment.
Referendum seeks borough drilling ban

Voters in State College will be asked in November to ban the extraction of natural gas within borough limits.
That question is part of an environmental bill of rights supported by the advocacy group Groundswell PA, which petitioned for a referendum on the issue on the general election ballot Nov. 8. The county’s Board of Elections approved Friday putting the referendum question on borough ballots.
Information on drilling fluids hard to come by in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is one of only four states with regulations in place requiring drillers to disclose on a well-by-well basis the additives and chemicals used in fracturing fluid injected deep underground into oil and natural gas wells. But the state is the only one not to post the data on the Internet.
New bills address digging near gas pipelines
Rep. Matthew Baker, R-68, Wellsboro, and Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20, Lehman Twp., are introducing bills in their respective chambers to bring gathering lines under a state law that provides a notification process to alert construction workers where underground lines are.
Stateline: PA Schools Fill Budget Cuts With Drilling Money
In late July, the Blackhawk School District, 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, joined a handful of other school districts in Pennsylvania looking to cash in on the state’s natural gas boom.
In a vote of seven-to-one, the school board agreed to lease 160 acres of the district’s land to Chesapeake Energy, the largest holder of mineral rights in the Marcellus Shale region, which lies underneath Pennsylvania and neighboring states.
US Energy Agency: PA Driving Northeast Gas Production
...Marcellus Shale drilling is driving the boat, when it comes to natural gas production in the northeast region. Pennsylvania, in particular, has seen a rapid boom, and now leads the way.

No comments: