Thursday, September 29, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania Update: Sep 21-28

EQT Receives Federal Clearance to Begin Long-Planned Marcellus Shale Pipeline Construction Project
As part of its ongoing Marcellus capacity expansion, Equitrans will begin construction of its project "Sunrise" which is comprised of the installation of approximately 41.5 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline and 2.7 miles of 16-inch-diameter pipeline that runs from Wetzel County, West Virginia to Greene County, Pennsylvania, as well as a new compressor station near Jefferson in Greene County. The Sunrise pipeline system will generally parallel existing Equitrans facilities, thereby reducing its environmental footprint, and is expected to be operational before summer 2012.
DEP reorganizes to oversee Marcellus drilling
A bureau of environmental cleanup and brownfields will be created to emphasize revitalization of industrial sites, he said. A new bureau of conservation and reclamation, which will include staff assigned to restoring streams affected by acid mine drainage, will consolidate water management functions.
Penn Virginia-Aqua to Supply Water
The operating units of Penn Virginia Resource Partners L.P. (PVR - Analyst Report) and Aqua America Inc. (WTR - Snapshot Report), yesterday, joined hands to build and operate a private pipeline system to supply fresh water to natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in north-central Pennsylvania.  The joint venture formed between the two companies is named Aqua — PVR Water Services LLC.
Federal Court Rules on Drilling In PA National Forest
A fed­eral appeals court rul­ing may open the door to more Mar­cel­lus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National For­est. It also sheds light on the con­fus­ing issue of sur­face and min­eral rights. Because of the way state law is writ­ten, sur­face and min­eral rights are sold sep­a­rately. That means a per­son can sell land to the state or fed­eral gov­ern­ment, and still main­tain con­trol over whether or not drilling can take place there.
Marcellus Gas Producers Face 'Chaos' From Land Law Ruling
A Pennsylvania appeals court ruling has raised questions about who can claim ownership of natural gas embedded in the Marcellus shale formation, potentially putting in doubt the legitimacy of thousands of drilling leases.
The state's Superior Court said Pennsylvania law governing ownership of oil and gas rights isn't clear and a lower-court judge should solicit expert opinions in a case pitting current landowners against the heirs to an 1881 deed.
 DiGirolamo co-sponsoring Marcellus Shale tax bill
State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-18, is trying to push through a law that would enact a 4.9 percent tax on drillers for natural gas through Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania.
DiGirolamo is teaming up with state Rep. Tom Murt, R-152, on the effort and the two lawmakers have e-mailed all other state representatives seeking co-sponsors for the bill. The two say their proposed law is a “compromise among the various pieces of legislation seeking to institute a severance tax or an impact fee on deep natural gas within the state’s Marcellus Shale formation.”
State law still fuzzy on vital mineral rights

Mineral extraction has been a principal industry in Pennsylvania since the mid-1800s. One would think, given vast practical experience in the extraction of oil and coal, that legal issues regarding drilling leases and mineral rights would be settled.
Not so, according to the state Superior Court, which has directed a court in Susquehanna County to conduct a hearing that could upset an unknown, but certainly substantial number of drilling leases.
Spin overtaking facts in Marcellus Shale debate
Some insist Marcellus Shale natural gas is a huge economic boom for America, while others are certain it's an environmental catastrophe.
Gas drilling from the Marcellus pollutes groundwater, or it never pollutes groundwater. It's cleaner than coal or oil, except that it's dirty. It provides a boost to hard-hit rural economies; but then again, maybe it doesn't.
The one point of agreement? Scientists say advocates on both sides increasingly spin every shred of research to fit their own views, and ignore the bigger picture.
Drillers Face Methane Concern
Many water supplies in northern Pennsylvania have long contained detectable levels of methane, because of poorly constructed water wells and the unusual geologic features here. But the contamination in Ms. Vargson's existing well is among the first cases that state regulators have attributed to natural-gas drilling, prompting a normally competitive group of drilling companies to work together to fix the problem.
Maker of 'Gasland' honored at Manayunk festival

Documentary filmmaker Josh Fox has reaped praise and criticism for his film Gasland.
Now, he's won what he calls a very timely award.
The Manayunk Development Corporation honored Fox this weekend with its My Eco-Champion Award during the second Manayunk EcoArts Festival. 
Scarnati Wants A Marcellus Bill By October; Ready To Play Ball To Get One
Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Pro Tem Joe Scar­nati is grow­ing impa­tient. He doesn’t want to wait any longer to pass a com­pre­hen­sive bill deal­ing with nat­ural gas drilling. On the state House’s first day back in Har­ris­burg since June, the Jef­fer­son County Repub­li­can set a dead­line. “I want it moved in Octo­ber,” he told the Penn­syl­va­nia Press Club, refer­ring to a bill cre­at­ing a drilling impact fee, and impos­ing safety and zon­ing reg­u­la­tions. “I am tired of being here, hold­ing the bag year after year, try­ing to get this done.”
 Range Resources, Cabot Dismiss Impact Of Pennsylvania Shale Case
In a move aimed at calming anxious investors, Range Resources Corp. (RRC) and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG) said Monday that ongoing litigation over shale gas rights in Pennsylvania is unlikely to have a significant impact on their operations.
Both oil-and-gas companies issued statements playing down the effect of a legal dispute being reviewed by a Pennsylvania appeals court. However, the case, Butler vs. Powers, could have broad consequences for the ownership of thousands of leases in the state's portion of the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation underlying several states in the Northeast that has become one of the most prolific sources of natural gas in the U.S.
W. Pa.'s Consol Energy in $193M Marcellus deal
Consol Energy Inc. says it has sold a $193 million stake in its Marcellus Shale holdings in southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Consol, based in Canonsburg, announced the deal with Antero Resources Appalachian Corp. of Denver on Monday. Antero will receive royalty interests of approximately 7 percent in 115,647 acres located in nine counties.
Curriculum revised to meet demand in shale industry

Nine career and technical education centers in Pennsylvania have revised their curriculum to accommodate the demand, and three others plan to, according to a survey by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Twenty of the state's 62 career and technical education centers, or CTCs, responded to the survey.
"We're trying to start new adult programs that will get people out working," said Christine Scalise, adult vocation training coordinator at the Forbes Road CTC. "It looks like there will be jobs far into the future."
Marcellus shale science target of $2.5 million NSF grant
A science- and energy-based program focusing on Pennsylvania counties with natural gas exploration and production, and developed by a multidisciplinary team of Penn State researchers, is part of a $2.5-million grant from the National Science Foundation.
"Marcellus Matters: Engaging Adults in Science and Energy" aims to enhance the public's understanding of science, engineering and energy through community-based activities that promote "doing" science, develop local expertise on energy issues and draw on residents' knowledge of their environment.
EPA Holds Hearing on Natural Gas Drilling in Pennsylvania
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing in Pittsburgh, Penn. on Tuesday night in a move to advocate its proposed rules to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations in order to comply with the Clean Air Act.The EPA proposal, which would apply new pollution control standards to approximately 25,000 gas wells that are hydraulically fractured in the U.S. each year, would require drillers to implement a new technology that would allow them to capture and sell gas that would normally go to waste.
 Upper Devonian may hold as much gas as Marcellus Shale: Range executive
Upper Devonian, found at shallower depths than the Marcellus Shale that sits around 6,500 feet deep in southwest Pennsylvania, may hold "probably an equal amount of gas per there is in the Marcellus," Ray Walker, a senior vice president of Range, said late Tuesday at the Independent Petroleum Association of America's Oil and Gas Investment Seminar in San Francisco. His comments were webcast. 
 News Nearby: Judge to Rule on Marcellus Shale Home Rule Charter Question Next Week
Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Pozonsky said Wednesday he plans to rule by the end of next week on an injunction request filed by Peters Township to not place the Home Rule Charter amendment, proposed by the Marcellus Shale Awareness and Action organization, on the Nov. 8 election ballots.

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