May 3, 2012 |
The shaky future of the oil industry in the Philadelphia region took a turn for the better this week, as did the prospects for hundreds of workers whose jobs are linked to oil refineries along the Delaware River. In what proved to be a double-barreled announcement Monday of corporate takeovers, one unlikely savior literally swooped down from the clouds, as Delta Air Lines became the buyer of the ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer. Given its limited presence at Philadelphia International Airport, Delta's move to lock up a reliable source of discounted jet fuel won't mean lower airfares locally.
April 11, 2012 |
Penn Virginia Resource Partners L.P., a Radnor energy company that traces its 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.
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.
March 18, 2012
"People feel really, really good about it when you get a flagship store â ¦ from one of the most respected retailers in the nation, and they pick your neighborhood. " - Meg Major, editor in chief of Progressive Grocer, referring to the passions stirred when a new Whole Foods comes to town. One opened last week in Glen Mills. "It's becoming so much of a sound bite economy. " - Ziad Abdelnour, CEO of private equity firm Blackhawk Partners, speaking of short-term market surges.
March 9, 2012
The multistate agency that governs the Delaware River basin has made a sensible decision to continue a moratorium on natural-gas drilling in the watershed. But that has put the Delaware River Basin Commission at odds with some very powerful forces, including state capitals that provide its funding. Fortunately, aside from a direct threat that wasn't carried out by New Jersey to yank its contribution to the DRBC, the agency hasn't been targeted because of its policies on drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation.
March 5, 2012 |
American entrepreneurship and ingenuity have made the United States the wealthiest economy in the world and will continue to do so in the future if it is not smothered by taxes and unproductive regulation. The boom in natural gas is another good example of this. The hydraulic-fracturing technology was invented and developed in Texas, and it is the key to unlocking the estimated 900 trillion cubic feet of shale gas available in the United States (and the estimated 6,000 trillion cubic feet globally)
February 9, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania is a signature away from imposing a fee on natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. After three years of debate and false starts, the House voted, 101-90, Wednesday to approve a compromise plan for a "local impact fee" on natural gas drillers. With the Senate's approval in hand, the measure goes to Gov. Corbett, who said he would sign it. "This legislation reaffirms our strong commitment to safe and responsible natural gas development here in Pennsylvania," Corbett said in a statement minutes after the House vote Wednesday afternoon.
February 8, 2012
Natural gas companies drilling in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale region accumulated 3,355 violations in the four years from 2008 through 2011, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the nonprofit organization, PennEnvironment. More than 70 percent of the violations likely posed a direct threat to the environment, as opposed to violations that involved filing deadlines or paperwork, for instance, the organization said. It identified the operators with the most violations as Cabot Oil and Gas Corp.
February 7, 2012
By Nicolas Loris President Obama has been on a kick to promote natural-gas production. Unfortunately, he seems to think the key to doing this is more government involvement. "It was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock," he said in his State of the Union address last month, "reminding us that government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.