Weekly Clips

As a member service, each Monday 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.

March 23-29

03-29-2015 Smaller properties in Alle-Kiski Valley remain attractive to drillers
Arnold officials chuckled a few years ago when resident Dennis Haracznak suggested they look into leasing city-owned property for natural gas drilling. Haracznak isn’t laughing: “We want to make money. The city’s in debt, and we’re sitting on top of a trillion bucks.”… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-29-2015 Dallas doctor gets no answers on frack fluid ingredients
After his failed attempts to fight the state’s oil and gas law in court, Alfonso Rodriguez, M.D., is ready to sign a nondisclosure form to view a full list of ingredients in hydraulic fracturing fluid. If only someone could tell him where to find it. Since 2010, the kidney specialist has been trying to obtain information on… - Scranton Times
03-29-2015 DEP chief seeking gas pipeline strategy
A “spiderweb” of new natural gas pipelines will be built across Pennsylvania during the next decade, and the state’s top environmental official wants to develop a strategy for minimizing the impact on the environment. John Quigley, secretary-designate of the Department of Environmental… - Scranton Times
03-29-2015 Business leaders wary of proposed severance tax
OAKDALE – The atmosphere was electric as House Speaker Mike Turzai kicked off a Friday forum on energy.  “With our sizable reserves of natural gas, our manufacturing base and the number of small businesses involved, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to not only be a national energy leader, but an international leader,”… - Washington Observer-Reporter
03-27-2015 New DEP rules for shallow oil and gas wells draws industry ire
HARRISBURG — The conventional oil and gas industry’s frustrations with proposed new environmental regulations boiled up at a Department of Environmental Protection advisory board meeting on Thursday, where representatives of the Pennsylvania’s legacy drilling industry… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
03-27-2015 Fracking foes pack zoning discussion in Ligonier Township
With the clock ticking down on the time allotted for Ligonier Township supervisors to pass an updated zoning ordinance, many residents spoke up at a public hearing Thursday night to ask them to reconsider proposed changes, particularly those related to unconventional drilling…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-27-2015 Poll: Majority support Wolf on tax hikes, drilling tax
Nearly 60 percent of Pennsylvania voters support Gov. Tom Wolf’s call for some tax increases and a severance tax on natural gas drilling, while just 49 percent support privatizing the state’s liquor stores, according to a new poll released Thursday. Franklin & Marshall College’s latest poll found that a majority of… - Ellwood City Ledger
03-26-2015 O&G industry girds for more stringent regulatory environment
PITTSBURGH – The U.S. oil and gas industry may be the world’s largest producer of the fuels, but its future could be clouded by a number of approaching federal regulations that could curtail future expansion, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive said Wednesday…. - Washington Observer-Reporter
03-26-2015 Former Consol Energy manager gets prison in gas royalties theft
A former manager of Consol Energy’s land management department will spend 30 months in federal prison for stealing $440,000 from the company in gas royalties through a leasing scheme in West Virginia and Illinois. U.S. District Judge David Cercone on Wednesday imposed that term on Scott… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
03-26-2015 Officials oppose fracking waste disposal
The Indiana County commissioners Wednesday adopted a resolution urging state and federal environmental agencies to reject permits for disposing of hydraulic fracking waste from natural gas and oil drilling in underground injection wells in Indiana County. The resolution is a show of support for Grant Township supervisors and… - Indiana Gazette
03-25-2015 Shale group leader criticizes Wolf’s proposed severance tax
Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax threatens to smother Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry in its early years, Marcellus Shale Coalition president Dave Spigelmyer warned Tuesday. “I hate to think where Pennsylvania would have been the past six years if shale hadn’t been here,” Spigelmyer said Tuesday ahead of the… - Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice
03-25-2015 Marcellus Shale drilling ordinance divides South Strabane
South Strabane officials once again delayed a vote on the township’s drilling ordinance a day after the municipal zoning board rejected an application from Columbia Midstream to build two natural gas pipeline facilities in the area. The supervisors agreed Tuesday night to send back to the township’s… - Washington Observer-Reporter
03-25-2015 Commissioners attending Harrisburg confab hear governor discuss severance tax
Commissioners from Washington and Greene counties, where public treasuries have benefited hugely from Act 13’s Marcellus Shale impact fee, left a meeting of a state association where Gov. Tom Wolf addressed the topic with their minds unchanged. The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania is lining up against… - Washington Observer-Reporter
03-25-2015 PennEast claims pipeline will save consumers millions
Consumers across eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey could have saved $890 million in energy bills during the 2013-2014 winter if the PennEast pipeline had been operating, according to a study released Tuesday by Concentric Energy Advisors Inc. The report, paid for by PennEast, found the savings on natural gas and… - Levittown Intelligencer
03-25-2015 Conference set in Highland Township injection well lawsuit
A status conference is set for Friday in a natural gas driller’s lawsuit against Highland Township in Elk County. The announcement was made on Tuesday in Seneca Resources Corp.’s civil suit against the township’s board of supervisors for its ban on wastewater injection wells in the municipality…. - Bradford Era
03-24-2015 Peters Township hires oil and gas consultant
Officials in Peters Township voted unanimously at Monday’s council meeting to consult with Keith Eshleman, a hydro-geologist from the University of Maryland, on issues regarding what the board called “unconventional gas development.” The cost to hire Mr. Eshleman is not to exceed $8,800…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
03-24-2015 Prosecutor: Copper theft from Greene County well site wasn’t protest
A Greene County man damaged a Marcellus shale gas well facility because of money, not political beliefs, a federal prosecutor said Monday. Brian M. Harbarger, 35, of Cumberland pleaded guilty to damaging an energy facility. “I did it,” he said in response to a question from U.S. District… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-24-2015 Electric grid investments promise years of reliability
FirstEnergy Corp. is aiming to increase the reliability of its electric service through 50 transmission and distribution projects scheduled this year to meet increased demand for power from shale gas producers. FirstEnergy expects to spend $250 million in 2015 across its 10 electric… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-24-2015 Test results: Air not impacted by EQT well pad in Union Township
Test results from an independent company showed air quality at EZT’s Trax Farm well pad in Union Township was normal during the testing period. Township board Chairman Larry Spahr on Monday read the results of the study, conducted by Professional Service Industries Inc., based in… - Washington Observer-Reporter
03-24-2015 Pipeline progresses, to landowner dismay
HARPERSFIELD, N.Y. (AP) The 124-mile Constitution Pipeline will likely bring some relief from high natural gas prices to residents of New York City and New England, but it will also bring anguish to some landowners in the wooded hills and valleys in its path… - AP
03-23-2015 Drillers’ new techniques, experience gut well costs, boost yields
Ray Walker often invokes a favorite saying when asked how shale gas companies can increase production by 20 percent or more while cutting spending on drilling by more than 40 percent. “The rock rules,” said Walker, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Range Resources Corp., repeating a phrase he used… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-23-2015 Pipeline project planned
WAYNE COUNTY – An energy company plans to upgrade a pipeline system in response to the increasing demand for gas transmission service in the area.  Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company LLC is developing the Orion Expansion Project. The project would consist of the construction of about 13 miles of… - Honesdale Wayne Independent
03-23-2015 Gas drillers may pay to help revive solar industry
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to tax gas drillers will pump millions of dollars into schools, but it could also help subsidize alternative energy sources like wind and solar. Wolf proposes borrowing $675 million for economic development projects, which will be paid down by $55 million from the extraction tax each year…. - Meadville Tribune
03-23-2015 Pennsylvania counties seek to keep impact fee on shale wells
HARRISBURG, Pa. — An organization of Pennsylvania’s county commissioners is lining up against Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to replace a fee on Marcellus Shale natural gas wells with a flat annual payment to the same recipients, primarily governments where wells are hosted… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



March 16-22

03-22-2015 Feds tighten rules for chemical disclosure of fracking fluids
The Obama administration said Friday that it is requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, the first major federal regulation of the controversial drilling technique that has sparked an… - AP
03-22-2015 Many Pa. municipalities hesitant to regulate drilling through zoning
Faced with arguments from gas drilling opponents at nearly every township meeting, officials in Middlesex decided their only chance at settling the contentious issue of where to allow wells was to update the zoning ordinance. “We really need something in writing because … I can’t keep doing… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-22-2015 Phila. again ponders allure of liquefied natural gas
Despite Philadelphia City Council’s “unqualified” rejection nine years ago of a terminal for liquefied natural gas, the city is once again flirting with the money-making allure of LNG. Several entrepreneurs are promoting plans to increase LNG production at the… - Philadelphia Inquirer
03-22-2015 Work resumes on pipeline after court denies petition
Pipeline crews returned to work Friday on an expansion of a Williams interstate gas line after a judge denied an environmental group’s petition. Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s petition halted work on the line for a little more than a week while the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals considered… - Scranton Times
03-20-2015 Democrats reintroduce ‘Frack Pack’ oil and gas regulations
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A group of bills called the “Frack Pack” announced Thursday by four Democratic congressmen would impose more stringent federal environmental regulations on a domestic petroleum industry lately suffering from its own success amid a persistent downturn in oil prices… - AP
03-20-2015 Judge rules shale gas pipeline can cross holdout properties
SCRANTON, Pa. — The companies backing a 124-mile pipeline designed to ferry cheap Marcellus Shale natural gas to New York and New England can build across seven northeastern Pennsylvania properties whose owners had not agreed to it, a judge ruled… - AP
03-20-2015 CNG fueling station proposed for Dunmore
DUNMORE — Baltimore-based Constellation CNG LLC, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., has plans to build a compressed natural gas fueling station on the site that once hosted candymaker Gertrude Hawk’s first retail location. Details were not available Thursday, as a company spokeswoman said the… - Scranton Times
03-20-2015 Gas pipeline issues discussed at Wilkes University
WILKES-BARRE — With hundreds of miles of new natural gas pipelines planned for Northeastern Pennsylvania, stronger oversight is needed for types of lines that fall under state control. That statement was echoed several times by a diverse set of panelists representing industry, lawmakers, regulators and environmental interests… - Scranton Times
03-20-2015 Gov.’s drilling stance ‘disheartening’
WAYNE COUNTY – Local farmers and officials have expressed dismay, if not surprise, in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s support of the moratorium on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.  Brian Smith, chairman of the Wayne County commissioners and a… - Honesdale Wayne Independent
03-19-2015 DEP: Work to begin on untreated wastewater and sludge at Conemaugh disposal site
Workers could begin as early as next week cleaning up untreated wastewater and sludge from coal mines and drilling operations left by a closed treatment company before it spills into the recovering Conemaugh River, the state Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-19-2015 Doctor loses lawsuit that challenged secrecy of fracking fluid
A federal appellate court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by an area physician challenging a law that precluded him from releasing information he obtained regarding chemicals contained in hydraulic fracking fluid. Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, of Dallas, challenged Act 13 of 2012, which allows… - Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice
03-19-2015 Frac water treatment facility back on track: County Planning Commission OKs amended plans for treatment facility in Standing Stone Twp.
At its meeting this week, the Bradford County Planning Commission approved amended plans for a new frac water treatment plant in Standing Stone Township, OK’d a planned 48-unit self-storage facility in North Towanda Township, and heard a presentation on plans for a new office for Procter &… - Towanda Daily Review
03-19-2015 Drilling waste permit revoked; Grant Township site slated for review
EAST RUN — State environmental regulators have revoked a permit allowing a natural gas and oil drilling company to dispose of well-site waste fluids in a remote area of northern Indiana County. The Department of Environmental Protection has set aside the Pennsylvania… - Indiana Gazette
03-18-2015 Pennsylvania nears end of drilling royalties investigation
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania state investigators are close to wrapping up an investigation into complaints that landowners in northeastern Pennsylvania are being cheated of royalties by natural gas companies exploring the Marcellus Shale, Attorney General Kathleen Kane… - AP
03-18-2015 Wyoming County resident appointed to DEP oil and gas board
Emily Krafjack’s voice may not be the loudest on the subject of shale gas, but it has earned her a seat at the table where major decisions on drilling regulations are made. Last week, the Wyoming County native became one of the first nonvoting appointees to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Oil… - Scranton Times
03-18-2015 Despite falling prices, Ohio oil production increases
Oil and natural-gas prices might be low, but production in Ohio’s Utica shale region next month is expected to continue rising. The forecast, issued by the Energy Information Administration, shows the Utica is one of two shale regions in which oil production is on track to… - Columbus Dispatch
03-18-2015 Central Greene enters into oil and gas lease in Perry Township
WAYNESBURG – Central Greene School Board approved a nonsurface oil and gas lease Tuesday with Vantage Energy LLC for 11.5 acres at the site of the former Perry Elementary School. There will be no above-ground activity, including wells or facilities, related to the lease, according to Central Greene solicitor Kirk King. King… - Washington Observer-Reporter
03-18-2015 Bethlehem opposes PennEast Pipeline, calling route through watershed land ‘ridiculous’
Bethlehem City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday opposing the PennEast Pipeline, with council’s president calling it “ridiculous” that the natural gas pipeline would run through the city’s watershed land. The 110-mile pipeline would run through Bethlehem’s watershed land in… - Easton Express-Times
03-17-2015 New rules to restrict shale wastewater ponds could put tank manufacturers in demand
The era of shale drilling waste pits is closing in Pennsylvania. Storage tanks and the companies that market them are on the rise. Last week, the Department of Environmental Protection announced plans to ban temporary waste pits at Marcellus and Utica shale gas well sites,… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
03-17-2015 Pennsylvania looking outside for audit on shale cash
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is preparing to hire an outside firm to audit the royalty payments that the agency receives from natural gas production on state lands to ensure that drilling companies’ price calculations are accurate…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
03-17-2015 Wolf’s severance tax would set a minimum value on gas produced
Gov. Wolf’s proposed severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural-gas production contains a unique feature that sets a minimum taxable level, guaranteeing that the state would capture its share no matter how low the gas price sank. The severance tax, dubbed the Pennsylvania Education Reinvestment Act,… - Philadelphia Inquirer
03-17-2015 Trout Unlimited keeps eye on shale gas drilling impact
Michaels Creek and Martins Creek in the Poconos are about to get some very important oversight. Trained members of the Brodhead Chapter of Trout Unlimited will begin monitoring a variety of data in those streams and turn the results over to the Pennsylvania Council of TU. The council will include the information in… - Allentown Morning Call
03-17-2015 DCNR boosts gas drilling monitoring
HARRISBURG — A proposed $8 million agency budget increase will help support enhanced state monitoring of the impact of gas drilling on public forest lands, the head of the department overseeing state forests and parks said Monday. Marcellus Shale drilling has slowed down recently in the state forests, but… - Scranton Times
03-17-2015 Columbia Gas awaits OK for pipeline path
Columbia Gas Transmission is moving forward with plans to replace an aging natural gas transmission pipeline that runs through parts of Allegheny, Washington and Greene counties. The company’s preferred route for the tri-county project is awaiting approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to… - Washington Observer-Reporter
03-16-2015 Proposed settlement of class action gas drilling suit won’t halt other suits, attorneys say
The proposed $11 million settlement of a class action lawsuit involving payments to natural gas leaseholders will not impact the viability of two pending lawsuits that raise some similar claims, attorneys representing the plaintiffs said. Thomas McNamara, attorney for plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed last month by… - Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice
03-16-2015 Penn State researcher says controversial Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline would mean $75.5 million for Lancaster County
Just days before it is expected to formally file its application to build the Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline, Williams released an economic study today that says the project would mean $75.5 million to Lancaster County. Williams wants to build the 177-mile Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline… - Lancaster Intelligencer Journal