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Shale Gas

BUSINESS
August 6, 2010 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
A giant Indian industrial concern has bought a second stake of natural-gas acreage in Pennsylvania, underscoring the international scope of the Marcellus Shale boom. Reliance Industries Ltd., which bills itself as India's largest private-sector company, said Thursday that it would pay $392 million to acquire a 60 percent stake in 104,400 Marcellus acres in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The acreage is now controlled by a 50-50 venture of Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc., a Houston, Texas, exploration company, and Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
NEWS
May 4, 2011 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Chevron Corp., which entered the Pennsylvania shale-gas competition this year with the acquisition of Atlas Energy Inc., on Wednesday substantially beefed up its stake by acquiring new acreage in southwestern Pennsylvania. The San Ramon, Calif., company will acquire leases covering 228,000 acres from closely held Chief Oil & Gas L.L.C. and Tug Hill Inc. The terms weren't disclosed. In February, Chevron paid $3.58 billion for Atlas and its 622,000 Marcellus acres. Atlas was founded by Philadelphia's Cohen family.
NEWS
August 11, 2011 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
A natural gas subcommittee appointed by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is recommending more public disclosure, more tracking of data, and other actions to reduce the environmental and safety risks of shale gas production in the nation. In a report to be released Thursday, the committee calls for better ways to measure and limit air pollution, and recommends water-quality requirements. It also wants to see the full disclosure of chemicals in fluids used for fracking, the process in which water and additives are injected underground at high pressure to break apart the geologic formation and release the gas. Addressing a contentious issue - whether methane contaminating some wells is related to drilling or is from natural causes - it recommends determining background levels of methane in nearby water wells before drilling.
NEWS
July 22, 2011 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Since the federal government deregulated natural gas prices in the 1980s, the prices of crude oil and natural gas have moved more or less in tandem. But in the last three years, the prices have become unhinged. One reason is the dramatic increase in natural gas production from unconventional formations such as Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, which has driven down natural gas prices while crude oil prices have soared. When the two fossil fuels are compared on the basis of energy equivalency, natural gas is a bargain compared with oil. A dollar spent on natural gas buys more than three times the energy that a dollar spent on crude oil buys.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania State University is seeking to expand its influence on the burgeoning natural gas industry with the creation of what it is calling the "world's premier academic institute" on the fossil fuel. The university announced this month the creation of the Institute for Natural Gas Research, which it says will conduct "independent and rigorous scientific research" on the resource at the center of Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas boom. But Penn State, which has come under attack for its close ties to the Marcellus Shale industry, is likely to come under increased scrutiny from activists by doubling down on shale gas. The new institute, dubbed INGaR, is a collaboration of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Engineering.
NEWS
April 9, 2010 | By Lou D'Amico
The Marcellus Shale, which according to some geologists is the world's second-largest natural-gas field, holds the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for Pennsylvanians - while reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign energy resources. We've known about the Marcellus Shale for years. But advances - specifically, horizontal drilling techniques coupled with a 60-year-old technology called hydraulic fracturing, in which fluid is forced underground - have finally enabled us to reach its enormous stores of clean-burning fuel.
NEWS
March 30, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
Even though a congressman boasts that his bill signed into law in January will assure steps are taken to safeguard new shale-gas pipelines snaking across Pennsylvania, safety regulators surveyed nationally say they still need convincing. The state regulators' fears, expressed to federal auditors about the public-safety threat from badly built or shoddily maintained pipelines, stand as a continuing concern for residents living amid Pennsylvania's gas boom. At issue is whether thousands of miles of pipeline stretched across rural areas will be subject to safety checks to safeguard against flaws or lax upkeep, given that federal law now exempts these lines from safety rules.
NEWS
April 10, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Penn Virginia Resource Partners L.P., a Radnor energy company that traces it Philadelphia roots back 130 years, on Tuesday made a major move into the Marcellus Shale natural gas region with the acquisition of a pipeline company for $1 billion. PVR agreed to buy Chief Gathering L.L.C.'s pipeline system, which performs the largely invisible but lucrative chore of collecting gas from individual wells and delivering it to the nationwide pipeline network. The deal decisively moves PVR away from coal, where it historically made its money, and into natural gas. William H. Shea Jr., chief executive officer of the company's general partner, Penn Virginia Resource G.P., told analysts in a conference call that the deal "catapults" the company into the "midstream" pipeline business, where pipeline owners can earn steady profits collecting transportation fees like tolls on a highway.
BUSINESS
June 15, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A new national study says Pennsylvania, where Marcellus Shale drilling is expanding dramatically, is expected to lead in job growth attributed to unconventional natural gas development. An industry-sponsored study by IHS Global Insight found that unconventional gas production, including shale gas development, supported more than one million jobs nationwide in 2010 and was projected to grow to nearly 1.5 million jobs by 2015. Unconventional gas production supported nearly 57,000 jobs in Pennsylvania in 2010, 13,600 of those directly, according to the study, which projected that the industry would support 111,000 jobs in the Keystone State by 2015, including 26,000 directly.
NEWS
September 20, 2011
In a perfect world, Gov. Corbett would not be unalterably opposed to a severance tax on natural gas extracted by the booming Marcellus Shale industry. Pennsylvania would be able to join every other major gas-producing state and collect a modest charge on the value of gas produced. The extra money would help offset the stern budget cuts that he and the Republican-led legislature inflicted on public schools, higher education, and the safety net for the needy. But Corbett is adamantly opposed to a severance tax on shale gas. He has not been persuaded by polls showing strong majorities of Pennsylvanians support it - 69 percent in a June survey by Quinnipiac University.
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