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.
February 6, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - After months of wrangling behind closed doors, Gov. Corbett and Republicans who hold the majority in both legislative chambers have reached a tentative agreement to impose a fee on the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. The so-called "local impact fee," which could be voted on as early as this week, would fluctuate depending on the price of natural gas and, starting in 2013, on the rate of inflation, according to a summary circulated to Republican senators during the weekend.
February 1, 2012 |
In the latest salvo over Marcellus Shale gas drilling in the embattled town of Dimock, a natural gas company on Tuesday alleged that federal regulators had cherry-picked old test data to distort the amount of contamination in drinking-water wells. Cabot Oil & Gas Co., whose drilling was blamed for the pollution, said that the drinking-water tests the Environmental Protection Agency used to justify its Jan. 19 order to deliver fresh water supplies to four Dimock houses "do not accurately represent the water quality" and are inconsistent with the body of data collected at the residences.
January 24, 2012
In the Region Judge OKs plan for TH Properties Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stephen Raslavich approved a reorganization plan for TH Properties , the Harleysville home builder that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2009. TH Properties will complete construction of two phases of the Northgate development in Upper Hanover Township and the Wynstone project in New Hanover Township, both in Montgomery County and owned by brothers Timothy and Todd Hendricks, who founded TH Properties in 1992.
January 23, 2012
Natural gas futures soared by 7.8 percent Monday after Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced it would dramatically reduce drilling in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale and in other gas-producing areas. The announcement came after natural gas prices have plummeted in the last month because of an oversupply, caused by warm weather and enormous shale-gas production. The share prices of natural gas producers also soared Monday on the prospect of greater profits from higher prices. Despite the increase, natural gas prices are still off 18 percent so far this year.
January 23, 2012
The Energy Department on Monday cut its estimate for the amount of natural gas stored in the Marcellus Shale to 141 trillion cubic feet (TCF) from 410 TCF in last year's Annual Energy Outlook. The Energy Information Administration had promised last year to revise its estimate after the U.S. Geological Survey in August estimated the Appalachian formation contained 84 TCF. Though the U.S.G.S. estimate represented a dramatic increase from its 2002 estimate of 2 TCF, the big difference between its estimate and the Energy Department's projection caused an uproar over claims that shale-gas supporters were exaggerating its potential.
January 17, 2012 |
We last wrote about Master Limited Partnerships in April 2011, and most of these energy investments have since posted significant run-ups in price. So is it time to sell and take some profits? Perhaps, say investors, if you think the price of energy is going to crash, and that doesn't look very likely. For instance, the price of natural gas is at historic lows, and probably can't fall much further (natural gas and oil used to be correlated in price, but that relationship has decoupled, for reasons few understand)
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.
December 23, 2011 |
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.