November 26, 2012 |
SYCAMORE, Pa. - The towering flares that turn night into day in the Marcellus Shale gaslands are becoming an increasingly rare sight. Natural gas producers are turning to new techniques to capture the gas emitted during the well-completion process. In the past, a well's initial production was typically vented or burned off to allow impurities to clear before the well was tied into a pipeline. Now, more operators are employing reduced-emission completions - a "green completion" - a process in which impurities such as sand, drilling debris, and fluids from hydraulic fracturing are filtered out and the gas is sold, not wasted.
May 4, 2011 |
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.
August 11, 2011 |
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.
July 22, 2011 |
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.
April 9, 2010 |
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.
March 30, 2012 |
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.
June 15, 2012 |
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.
April 17, 2016 |
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.
May 28, 2010 |
Royal Dutch Shell P.L.C. became the latest big international player to buy a stake in the Marcellus Shale when it announced Friday that it will pay $4.7 billion for East Resources Inc., a Pennsylvania company that has morphed into a hefty natural-gas operator. In buying East Resources, headquartered in Warrendale, Pa., Shell will acquire about 1.05 million acres of gas leases, including 650,000 acres of Marcellus Shale rights in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York. East Resources, which is based in Allegheny County, is most active in Tioga County, in north-central Pennsylvania, and also owns substantial acreage in Allegheny National Forest.
January 31, 2010 |
In their exuberance, oil- and gas-industry officials repeat a single refrain when describing the natural gas from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale: A game-changer. Tony Hayward, chief executive officer of oil giant BP P.L.C., was the latest to gush enthusiastically when he called unconventional natural gas resources like the Marcellus "a complete game-changer. " "It probably transforms the U.S. energy outlook for the next 100 years," Hayward said Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.