Weekly Clips

As a member service,each Friday we provide a roundup of articles of significance to Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry that have appeared in newspapers within the region during the past week. Click on an item’s heading to read the article online. The past two weeks’ reports are included. Note that some news websites archive or remove articles after a short period. We try not to include articles that require a subscription to read.

September 21-26

9-26-2014 Pa. oil and gas regulations under consideration
Environmental regulators have begun to decide what to change and what to leave in a substantial revision to the state’s oil and gas regulations they hope will take effect by the middle of 2016. The hard choices are still to come. Officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection presented… - POST-GAZ.
09-26-2014 DEP hopes new drilling rules will help find, cap abandoned wells
State environmental regulators hope new oil and gas drilling rules aimed at modern shale drilling will help them find and cap more of the 200,000 old and abandoned wells that dot the countryside. The proposed regulations for drilling, which Act 13 of 2012 ordered and the… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-26-2014 Consol spinoff Cone Midstream Partners generates $385M in IPO
A down day on Wall Street could not deter investors on Thursday from trying to grab a piece of the shale oil and gas boom. Shares of Cone Midstream Partners, a spinoff formed by Cecil-based Consol Energy Inc. and Houston driller Noble Energy Inc., surged 38 percent in… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-26-2014 Drilling deal could bring tens of millions of dollars to Beaver County
The Beaver County Commissioners unanimously approved a fracking deal for two county parks Thursday that could generate tens of millions of dollars. The royalties alone that the county could receive could be $15 million to $30 million over the life of the wells, a conservative estimate based on… - Beaver County Times
09-26-2014 DEP fines pipeline company $250,000
The state Department of Environmental Protection fined a pipeline company $250,000 for multiple violations while building its gas-gathering line. NFG Midstream Trout Run LLC of Erie failed to control erosion and sedimentation while constructing its 16-mile gathering system in 2011 and… - Scranton Times
09-26-2014 Richardson: Shale industry needs to adapt world view
As the former governor of a large energy-producing state with oil and natural gas assets, Bill Richardson could be expected to be in full support of the shale gas boom occurring in the Marcellus Shale strata and elsewhere throughout the United States. During a half-hour keynote address Thursday during the second day of Shale… - Washington Observer-Reporter
09-25-2014 Fracking – gas industry wants final word on word
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… - Philadelphia Inquirer
09-25-2014 GE puts $10 million into Penn State natural gas research center
Penn State and General Electric are collaborating on a new innovation center meant to focus on “driving cutting-edge advancements in the natural gas industry.” GE announced Wednesday that it would invest up to $10 million to establish the Center for Collaborative Research on Intelligent Natural Gas Supply… - State College Centre Daily Times
09-25-2014 State case on forced pooling closed
A challenge of the constitutionality of “forced pooling” has been dropped. The action formally ends legal action on the controversial gas and oil contracting issue that has gone on for more than a year. The state Commonwealth Court granted the petitioner’s request to drop… - New Castle News
09-24-2014 MarkWest fined $150,000 for gas flaring at Washington County plant
The operator of a natural gas processing facility in the heart of Washington County’s Marcellus shale fields agreed to pay more than $150,000 in state fines involving improper flaring and smoke from the plant. The state Department of Environmental Protection began investigating… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-24-2014 If nothing else, Marcellus Shale activity fueling need for snake handlers
The Marcellus Shale natural gas activity in Pennsylvania has created numerous job opportunities, including one that involves rattlesnakes. Known as snake handlers or wranglers, these are certified individuals who have the job of protecting the workers and the rattlesnakes…. - Harrisburg Patriot-News
09-24-2014 Study shows shale industry fostering signficant supply chain growth
Apparently, there are no weak links in this chain. Supply chain industries are benefiting tremendously from unconventional oil and gas production in the United States, according to a study by IHS, which provides industry data worldwide. And these industries are certainly getting a boost in Pennsylvania, IHS… - Washington Observer-Reporter
09-24-2014 DEP won’t cite Hilcorp for fires
Hilcorp Energy Co. will not be cited for two recent fires at its well pads in Mercer County. A state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said no enforcement action will be taken because “there was no environmental harm.” Morgan Wagner of the DEP said that the Sept. 6 fire was snuffed out after a… - New Castle News
09-23-2014 Pennsylvania inspectors key to Marcellus regulation
Inspectors are the front line of the state’s effort to ensure development in the Marcellus is done right and with the least environmental impact possible. The Post-Gazette’s analysis of every fine the state levied against Marcellus drillers from 2005 through June 1 this year shows that a third of… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-23-2014 A day in the life of a longtime DEP inspector
John Sengle knows the importance of his job. As an inspector for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the past 32 years, he has inspected his share of companies that were not following state law. Mr. Sengle, 56, has been working for the past four years in the Clearfield… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-23-2014 Former Consol Energy manager charged with stealing $440,000 from company in fraud scheme
A former manager of Consol Energy’s land management department was charged Monday with stealing $440,000 from the company in gas royalties through a leasing scheme involving parcels in West Virginia and Illinois. Scott Hamilton, 37, of Houston, Pa., was charged directly by the U.S…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-23-2014 Range Resources aims to lease majority of Claysville
CLAYSVILLE – If all goes according to plan, 90 percent of Claysville Borough will soon be leased for natural gas extraction, and Claysville Volunteer Fire Department will get a new truck. It’s a win-win situation, according to firefighters and Range Resources…. - Washington Observer-Reporter
09-23-2014 DEP to fine Sunoco Pipeline over large boring mud leak at Mingo Creek tributaries
FINLEYVILLE – The state Department of Environmental Protection said it was preparing to fine Sunoco Pipeline over large boring mud leaks into small tributaries of Mingo Creek as the cleanup effort made additional progress Monday in Union Township. DEP spokesman John Poister said regulators were still determining whether… - Washington Observer-Reporter
09-23-2014 State Sen. Dominic Pileggi predicts natural gas extraction tax by next year
The state’s top Republican Senator last week said despite Gov. Tom Corbett’s promise he would not levy an extraction tax on natural gas operators, creation of a new tax is inevitable. According an article in a local Delaware County newspaper, Chadds Ford Live, state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware County, told… - Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
09-23-2014 PA Energy Games held
HUGHESVILLE – Energy comes in many shapes and forms. Natural gas, biomass, solar and wind are only a few. However, there was another kind of energy in the air at the second annual PA Energy Games on Sept. 6, at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds, and it wasn’t the kind used to power peoples’ homes…. - Towanda Daily Review
09-23-2014 Pipeline company makes offers, up to $65,000, to property owners along proposed route
The company seeking to put a natural gas pipeline through Lancaster County is offering easement payments to property owners before it has even formally applied for federal approval. At least five Lancaster County homeowners were offered payments up to $65,000 for use of their property and one as much as $3,500 upfront if he… - Lancaster Intelligencer Journal
09-22-2014 Trial and error approach leaves Marcellus Shale wounds
One of the most infamous spills in the state’s Marcellus history took place in May 2010 on land Don Johnson, above, and his wife, Carol Johnson, own. The couple spotted a leak from an East Resources well site on their Tioga County cattle farm. They and the state feared that some of the small… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-22-2014 Pa. system for tracking compliance at Marcellus Shale well sites in disrepair
A Post-Gazette analysis of DEP records provides a detailed look at the Marcellus Shale industry and its regulation, showing the serious problems in spotting well-site incidents, record keeping, and hiring adequate numbers of inspectors; it also shows how the industry has responded to… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-22-2014 Negative publicity does more damage to Marcellus Shale drilling companies than fines
The state Department of Environmental Protection fines drillers to try to get them to change behavior, but to giant Marcellus Shale drilling companies, $10,000 or even $100,000-plus fines are inconsequential. For them, the worst part of a well-site accident is bad publicity…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-22-2014 Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity From Fossil Fuels
John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels. The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a… - New York Times
09-22-2014 Siemens Makes $7.6 Billion Bet on Fracking in U.S.
FRANKFURT — The German engineering conglomerate Siemens already makes a range of products for the American energy sector, including gas turbines and equipment for generating electricity from wind. But in acquiring the Dresser-Rand Group, a Houston-based oil services… - New York Times
09-21-2014 Pa. system for tracking compliance at Marcellus Shale well sites in disrepair
a detailed look at the Marcellus Shale industry and its regulation, showing the serious problems in spotting well-site incidents, record keeping, and hiring adequate numbers of inspectors; it also shows how the industry has responded to accidents and surrounding publicity. This is the first of… - POST-GAZ.
09-21-2014 Shale gas extraction issues go beyond fracking
Ask oil and gas industry advocates, environmentalists and regulators about the biggest issues facing shale gas development, and none are likely to cite the possibility of fracking fluids traveling up thousands of feet of rock into groundwater aquifers as their top concern…. - POST-GAZ.
09-21-2014 Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania
For Justin Welker, Western Pennsylvania was always home. His friends were here. His family was here. Unfortunately, his job wasn’t. When Welker graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in 2006 with a degree in fisheries management, he had to move to North Carolina to… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-21-2014 Energy company responsible for polluting Donegal well appeals state’s finding
WPX Energy Appalachia LLC will appeal a state Department of Environmental Protection order that found the company responsible for polluting the underground water well of a Donegal Township family and ordered the company to provide an alternative water source…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-21-2014 Public meets with long delays in reviewing DEP Marcellus files
Federal agencies often have reading rooms where anyone who is interested in their public records can see them in a central location without bureaucratic delay. It’s a concept the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association supports in a state where reporters and residents complain about public access at… - Washington Observer-Reporter



September 14-19

09-19-2014 PSEG joins shale-gas pipeline consortium
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… - Philadelphia Inquirer
09-19-2014 Chevron meets new, voluntary shale drilling rules
PITTSBURGH — Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling standards that aim to go beyond existing state laws in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale announced Thursday… - AP
09-19-2014 White bill would create database for steel used in gas wells
In an effort to help promote and protect American jobs, state Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, introduced a bill requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to create an online public database listing the country of origin for any steel product used in the completion of a natural… - Washington Observer-Reporter
09-18-2014 Pennsylvania legislators debate energy measures
HARRISBURG — With only weeks left in the current legislative session, the majority and minority chairs of the state Senate and House environmental resources and energy committees were more certain Wednesday about which bills they hope will pass the General Assembly this year than… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-18-2014 Consol, Noble expect at least $325 million from partnership’s IPO
Consol Energy Inc. and a Texas partner expect to raise at least $325 million in an initial public offering. The two are partnering in a venture to gather and transport natural gas flowing from Marcellus shale wells. Cone Midstream Partners, the spin-off that Cecil-based Consol formed with… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-18-2014 Donegal Township families fight driller to get clean water
From January to June, Ken and Mildred Geary had to use bottled water to cook, clean and shower because a leak from a gas drilling company’s pond contaminated their underground well water. The state Department of Environmental Protection has ruled their well was… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-18-2014 Pipeline forum highlights concerns about property damage, environment
DALLAS — As natural gas development booms in northern tier counties, pipelines to get the gas to market are springing up all over Luzerne County. Two new pipelines are proposed that will run from north to south in the county, and the existing Transco interstate pipeline is undergoing two… - Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice
09-18-2014 Gov. Corbett touts natural gas industry during York County stops
Gov. Tom Corbett said his job has brought him to a lot of factory tours. One of his favorites was a potato chip factory. ”But this is fun, too,” he said during a news conference at Glatfelter’s Spring Grove mill, “because it talks about what we’re doing in Pennsylvania, growing jobs, keeping jobs in Pennsylvania.”… - York Daily
09-18-2014 DEP orders Range Resources to pay $4 million fine
Range Resources will pay penalties totaling more than $4 million to settle violations related to six Marcellus Shale gas drilling and fracking wastewater impoundments in Washington County, under an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Resources…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-17-2014 Natural gas, coal have defined Pittsburgh’s history
If the current tug and pull between coal and natural gas rings familiar, it’s because it was born in Pittsburgh and has defined the region’s energy scene more than any other force, according to Joel Tarr… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-17-2014 Oil and gas jobs outnumbered steel jobs in Pennsylvania last year
Anybody who grew up in Western Pennsylvania, worked in a mill or rooted for a football team called the “Steelers” might find it hard to believe, but there are more people in Pennsylvania working in the oil and gas industry than there are in the steel industry…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-17-2014 Western Pa. colleges to emphasize curricula for energy, industrial fields
Colleges in Western Pennsylvania are gearing up to emphasize curricula that prepares students for jobs in energy and industrial fields. Rosedale Technical Institute in Kennedy, which on Wednesday will change its name to Rosedale Technical College, is among schools aiming to help… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-17-2014 Switch to compressed natural gas shifts into gear across Centre County
As buses, garbage trucks and other public vehicles continue to belch out clouds of diesel and gasoline fumes, the Centre Region is working on a solution that’s more natural. Natural gas, that is. Specifically, compressed natural gas. According to representatives who spoke to Centre County commissioners and… - State College Centre Daily Times
09-17-2014 Landmark fracking study finds no water pollution
PITTSBURGH — The final report from a landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, found no evidence that chemicals or brine water from the gas drilling process moved upward to contaminate drinking water at a site in western Pennsylvania… - AP
09-17-2014 Rice Energy issues checks to area first responders
Rice Energy extended a million thanks to first responders Tuesday – and nearly a half-million dollars. “Not only are you keeping your communities safe, you are keeping workers in these communities safe,” said Toby Rice, president, chief operating officer and director of the oil and gas company…. - Washington Observer-Reporter
09-17-2014 Schoenecker experiences refining industry from ground up
Perhaps the best example of Jeannine Schoenecker’s commitment to all aspects of American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) are the blue refinery coveralls that can be found hanging in a corner of her office. Schoenecker, who has served as the first female president and chief… - Bradford Era
09-16-2014 Oil and gas companies court military veterans as shale boom grows
John MacZura, an Army infantry veteran, started work a week after graduation. Before receiving his petroleum engineering degree from Penn State in 2013, Mr. MacZura, 30, had already piqued the interest of five or six oil and gas companies. He had job offers from three. He eventually joined Houston-based… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-16-2014 Sunoco eyes CNG pumps at Pittsburgh Airport
As drilling rigs make their way to Pittsburgh International Airport property, Sunoco is in the early stages of bringing compressed natural gas even closer to the runway. The Philadelphia-based petroleum and petrochemical manufacturer is working with the Allegheny County Airport Authority on plans to renovate its… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-16-2014 $3b plan promises more natural gas in New England
Two of the largest players in the New England natural gas market have formed a partnership to expand the capacity of two major pipelines, they said Monday, the latest of several proposals to increase the supply of natural gas to the region and moderate the costs of heating and electricity… - The Boston Globe
09-16-2014 Companies look overseas to find customers for ethane
As drillers have tapped the liquids-rich areas of the Marcellus, Utica and other shale plays, they’ve faced a quandary: There’s a lot of ethane coming out of the ground and not a lot of places to use it. That is expected to change… – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-16-2014 New BC3 classes prepare students for energy industry jobs
Butler County Community College is adding four energy classes to its curriculum this fall, part of a strategy to prepare students for employment in the booming natural gas industry. The classes will lead to a certificate and eventually to a degree program, school officials say…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-16-2014 Well Leaks, Not Fracking, Are Linked to Fouled Water
A study of tainted drinking water in areas where natural gas is produced from shale shows that the contamination is most likely caused by leaky wells rather than the process of hydraulic fracturing used to release the gas from the rock. The study looked at seven cases in Pennsylvania and one in Texas where… - New York Times
09-16-2014 Broken gas wells fuel support for electronic monitors
A former environmental official said it’s time for the state to again update rules for gas well construction, less than four years after the last sweeping set of standards was implemented. “Time marches on,” said John Hanger, former secretary of environmental protection. “This is a dynamic industry and there are… - New Castle News
09-16-2014 Beaver County farm challenges compressor station permit
The owners of one of the region’s oldest and most successful organic farms in New Sewickley Township, Beaver County, are challenging the validity of township land use ordinances that allowed a Marcellus Shale gas compressor station next to their farm. Don and Rebecca Kretschmann, who have operated their 80-acre organic farm… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
09-15-2014 Kasich vows to ‘focus’ on hiking fracking tax
The legislature has steadfastly declined to give Gov. John Kasich what he wants regarding a new severance tax on fracking in Ohio, but the governor says he’s only going to push harder if he wins re-election — and end a “rip-off” of consumers at the same time…. - Columbus Dispatch
09-14-2014 Energy firm reapplies for well near Moraine State Park
XTO Energy has resubmitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection an application for a well site about a mile from Moraine State Park in Butler County, the company said. There was no timetable as to when the DEP could make a final decision on… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
09-14-2014 CNG pump: Small start to what may be a huge new business
Nearly four years after VNG.co set out to build a nationwide fueling network for compressed natural gas, the Bala Cynwyd company last week launched its first outlet: a single pump at a BP Station next to a Roosevelt Expressway on-ramp. That Gov. Corbett would come to East Falls to inaugurate one fuel pump… - Philadelphia Inquirer