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Shale Gas

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BUSINESS
October 3, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The number of drill rigs operating in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale may be declining, but production keeps going up. Natural-gas output increased robustly during the first half of this year, according to state Department of Environmental Protection data. And industry observers say the output will continue to rise because so many wells are waiting to be connected to pipelines. Pennsylvania's "unconventional" shale-gas wells - those that unlock gas entrapped in tight rocks like shale, as opposed to conventional wells that tap into concentrations of free-flowing oil or gas - produced 895 billion cubic feet of gas in the first six months of this year, up nearly 42 percent from the previous reporting period, according to an analysis by the Powell Shale Digest, a trade publication based in Fort Worth, Texas.
BUSINESS
December 8, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Community College of Philadelphia's faculty union has called on the college to sever ties with the Marcellus Shale Coalition after the industry trade group pledged $15,000 to the school's new Energy Training Center. The Faculty and Staff Federation's governing council approved a resolution Tuesday opposing the college's association with the industry group after the college announced last month it was establishing a center to prepare students for energy jobs, including some related to the state's shale-gas boom.
NEWS
August 25, 2011 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
So how much natural gas is in the Marcellus Shale? The U.S. Geologic Survey on Tuesday estimated the formation contains 84 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, up from a mere 2 Tcf in 2002. Headlines exploded across the Internet: "Federal report boosts Marcellus Shale estimate. " But on Wednesday another federal agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which just a month ago estimated the shale contained 410 Tcf, announced it was revising its number downward in response to the USGS estimate.
NEWS
June 17, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
Pennsylvania will distribute $187.7 million this year from the impact fee on shale-gas development, down 16 percent from $223.5 million last year and the lowest amount collected since the tax's first year in 2011. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Wednesday outlined its disbursement schedule for the fee, which is assessed on each shale well. The amounts collected are smaller this year because the price of natural gas is low. County and municipal governments directly affected by drilling will receive a total of $101.8 million.
NEWS
December 23, 2011 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the raging shale-gas debate, there is much disagreement about the economic benefits of drilling. An Ohio State University report released this week argues that industry-funded studies hype the number of jobs created in Ohio from drilling the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations. The 27-page study is already providing ammunition to anti-drilling activists, who believe that the environmental risks of shale gas outweigh the economic benefits. While rival academics can argue about which econometric model is better at predicting the future, a relatively narrow measure of the benefit of shale gas is already affecting our monthly utility bills.
NEWS
December 14, 2011
The abundance of natural gas from formations such as Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale may spark a U.S. manufacturing renaissance that could add one million jobs by 2025, according to a report released Wednesday by PwC, the professional services firm, formally PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. PwC says manufacturers could save as much as $11.6 billion a year by 2025 from lower gas prices. Natural gas is used as a fuel source and as a raw material for commodities like plastics and fertilizer.
NEWS
December 22, 2011
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday fined Chesapeake Energy's pipeline division $19,510 for numerous erosion- and sediment-control violations found last winter at a compressor station in Albany Township, Bradford County. The fine against Appalachia Midstream Services L.L.C. of Horseheads, N.Y., represents about six minutes worth of profit of Chesapeake Energy, the largest Marcellus Shale operator, which last year earned $1.8 billion.     - Andrew Maykuth
BUSINESS
April 13, 2011 | By David Templeton
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE A Cornell University study is drawing criticism from the Marcellus Shale industry by concluding that methane produced from shale gas has as large a "greenhouse gas footprint" as coal, or larger. The study, led by Robert W. Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology, says methane leaking or venting from Marcellus Shale wells - and during the processing and transportation of natural gas - will contribute "substantially to the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas" in the next 20 years.
NEWS
September 7, 2011
Gas drilling critics gathered by the hundreds for a rally Wednesday outside the Arch Street entrance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Inside the center, leaders of the Marcellus Shale industry were opening a two-day conference to promote shale-gas development. "We're going to show this industry how strong we are and how unacceptable gas drilling is," said Iris Marie Bloom, founder of Protect Our Waters, who organized the rally. She told the crowd that "we are 65 organizations strong.
NEWS
May 31, 2012 | By Kevin Begos, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH - A well-known expert on the natural gas boom is again facing criticism over his ties to industry and a lack of transparency in how he presents work to the public, fueling debates over research that has been published by major universities. Timothy Considine was lead author on a shale gas report recently issued by the University at Buffalo and a previous report from Pennsylvania State University. Critics say both reports presented research in misleading ways and failed to fully disclose funding sources.
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NEWS
June 17, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
Pennsylvania will distribute $187.7 million this year from the impact fee on shale-gas development, down 16 percent from $223.5 million last year and the lowest amount collected since the tax's first year in 2011. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Wednesday outlined its disbursement schedule for the fee, which is assessed on each shale well. The amounts collected are smaller this year because the price of natural gas is low. County and municipal governments directly affected by drilling will receive a total of $101.8 million.
BUSINESS
June 3, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
New Jersey natural-gas customers can expect a price break this winter, the latest reduction in energy costs that have cut one utility's bills by more than half since 2009. Public Service Electric & Gas Co. on Wednesday proposed to reduce residential gas bills by 7.4 percent, saving customers $64 per year. South Jersey Gas proposed reductions of 3.7 percent, or $4.39, to monthly residential gas bills. The proposed rate reductions, which would go into effect Oct. 1, were made in annual filings Wednesday with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the state regulatory body.
BUSINESS
April 26, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
JAMES CITY, Pa. - Highland Township's rebellion against the fossil-fuel state began more three years ago, when word spread that Seneca Resources Corp. wanted to convert a depleted natural-gas well into a site for disposing of wastewater from Marcellus Shale drilling operations. Marsha Buhl, who had some unpleasant experiences 40 years ago living near oil wells in northwestern Pennsylvania, feared the proposed injection well would pollute the town's drinking-water supply with fracking waste.
NEWS
April 17, 2016 | By Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer
Budget and staff cuts have left the state Department of Environmental Protection ill-equipped for its role in monitoring the installation of tens of thousands of miles of natural-gas pipelines over the next decade, DEP Secretary John Quigley said Friday. After what Quigley described as "years of relentless budget cuts," the department has 671 fewer positions than it did seven years ago, an estimated 20 percent decrease. Of these lost jobs, 441 were permit writers and pipeline inspectors, he said.
NEWS
March 5, 2016
By John J. Interval It is hard for a petroleum geologist like me to find good news in the drastic cuts in shale-gas drilling or the calls by some politicians for a moratorium on fracking, but there is at least one silver lining: Producers in the Marcellus have become much more efficient, using innovative technologies and better knowledge of the shale formation to complete a well in less than half the time it took a decade ago. Producers are...
NEWS
March 4, 2016
ISSUE | MARCELLUS SHALE TAX Additional expenses will hurt industry, state Energy companies are laying off employees left and right. Pennsylvania won't continue to enjoy the billions of investment dollars it has received from companies developing shale gas in our commonwealth. Reserved Environmental Services employs 70 Pennsylvanians, and 85 percent of our workforce is blue collar. We've postponed capital projects this year and cannot hire an additional 20 employees. And we are not alone.
BUSINESS
September 19, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
In an assist to the shale-gas industry, the speaker of Pennsylvania's House said Thursday that Republicans will propose a "Keystone Energy Zone" to extend tax breaks to gas-hungry manufacturers. Rep. Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny), speaking on the final day of the Marcellus Shale Coalition's two-day conference in Philadelphia, disclosed the tax-break concept as a counterpoint to Gov. Wolf's plan to create a natural-gas severance tax. "Let's quit talking about this severance tax, and let's talk about how we improve usage," Turzai said during an onstage discussion with David J. Spigelmyer, the coalition's president, and K. Scott Roy, a Range Resources Corp.
BUSINESS
September 17, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
After shifting its annual conference to Western Pennsylvania last year, the shale-gas industry returns to Philadelphia on Wednesday for a two-day gathering amid an economic climate substantially subdued from the industry's early go-go years. The Shale Insight 2015 conference at the Convention Center, sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, is placing an emphasis on the industry's ties to the Philadelphia region as a potential energy hub, if the pipelines to deliver shale-gas products can be built.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Despite low gas prices and a reduction in drill rigs, Marcellus Shale producers generated nearly 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Pennsylvania last year, up 28 percent from the previous year, according to state figures. Exploration companies produced 2.08 trillion cubic feet of gas from 5,960 "unconventional" shale wells during the second half of 2014, up 10 percent from the first half of 2014. During all of 2013, Pennsylvania unconventional wells produced 3.1 trillion cubic feet of gas. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.
NEWS
November 17, 2014
WE LEARNED many new things at City Council's hearings on Philadelphia's energy future last week. Here's one: components of natural gas include propane, butane, methane . . . and here, in Philadelphia, civic pain. We're referring to the pain of listening to experts on Philadelphia's future as an energy hub and wondering why the city wasn't having these discussions years ago. And the pain of realizing that PGW's private ownership could be a key to the city's future as an energy hub, but Council killed that prospect just last week primarily because of "process" instead of the potential outcome for the city as a whole.
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