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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
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
January 11, 2012
A Radnor energy company is proposing to build a 28.8-mile Marcellus Shale gathering pipeline in Susquehanna County along the old right-of-way of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. Penn Virginia Resource Partners L.P. announced Wednesday it has acquired an option to purchase a pipeline easement from the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The 24-inch pipeline would run from the New York border through the towns of Thompson and Lanesboro to Union Dale, where it would deliver gas to the Tennessee Pipeline for transport to northeastern states.
BUSINESS
November 13, 2011 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The shale-gas bonanza is fueling a hot competition among businesses that want to claim a share of what is promoted as an abundant long-term energy source. T. Boone Pickens is pitching compressed natural gas as a cheap motor-fuel alternative to imported oil. Electricity suppliers want gas to fire up new power plants. Entrepreneurs are exploring ways to convert natural gas into gasoline. And the chemical industry, which buys natural gas as a raw material for plastics, says fuel from resources like Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale could inspire a resurgence of U.S. manufacturing.
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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.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
PITTSBURGH - The Marcellus Shale industry is trying to reclaim a word that has become one of the most effective weapons of natural gas foes: Fracking. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which opened its annual conference Wednesday in Pittsburgh, is launching a campaign aimed at countering the negative connotations associated with fracking, the term derived from the gas-extraction technique of hydraulic fracturing, which has become a catchall pejorative among activists for all aspects of drilling.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey's largest utility has joined a consortium of companies that wants to build a $1 billion bistate Marcellus Shale pipeline. PSEG Power L.L.C., a subsidiary of the Public Service Enterprise Group, has joined a partnership, PennEast Pipeline Co. L.L.C., which announced in August plans to build a 105-mile gas pipeline underground from Luzerne County to the Trenton area. Construction would begin in 2017. Retail utility customers of Public Service Electric & Gas Co. would benefit by better access to low-cost Marcellus gas, said Mike Jennings, a PSEG spokesman.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
A consortium of New Jersey and Pennsylvania utilities that wants to develop a 105-mile Marcellus Shale natural gas pipeline says it has received enough commitments from shippers to move ahead with the $1 billion project. PennEast Pipeline Co. L.L.C. says it received binding bids for nearly one billion cubic feet a day of gas on the pipeline, which would start in Luzerne County and terminate in the Trenton area. About half of the pipeline's capacity is committed to serve utilities associated with the four companies funding the project.
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