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.

December 8-14

12-14-2014 Gas field drillers, activists seek statewide rules for wells
There are more regulations for cutting hair than for drilling water wells in Pennsylvania. To cut hair, you must hold a cosmetologist degree, pass an exam and get a license that outlines how you can practice. To drill a well and install a water pump, you need only register drilling… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
12-14-2014 UIL chief ‘disappointed’ in failed PGW deal
After spending a year and a half and more than $21 million on its failed bid to buy Philadelphia Gas Works, UIL Holdings Corp. chief executive James P. Torgerson has some words of advice for anybody considering doing business in Philadelphia: ”Make sure you have everything lined up before you commit.”… - Philadelphia Inquirer
12-12-2014 Cranberry supervisors approve drilling beneath golf course
Cranberry supervisors on Thursday approved leasing oil and gas rights beneath its Cranberry Highlands Golf Course. Penn Energy Resources, based in Moon, is offering a five-year deal that includes an initial payment of $3,000 per acre for 311 acres, or $933,000,… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
12-12-2014 Report claims oil, gas drillers more open about fracking risks
EQT Corp. and Range Resources Corp. were among companies that improved reporting about the risks to the environment and communities from hydraulic fracturing in a scorecard from a group that pushes corporations to be more environmentally responsible. But the report released Thursday by the coalition of investment companies… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
12-12-2014 Water-truck driver killed in Susquehanna County
A water-truck driver for the natural gas industry was crushed by his own vehicle Wednesday night in Susquehanna County, state police said. David D. Nesbitt, 51, of Wilkes-Barre, was driving north at low speed on Quarry Road in Springville Twp. around 10 p.m…. - Scranton Times
12-12-2014 Williams Township won’t fight PennEast pipeline
If disgust gave off smoke, the Williams Township municipal building would have been full of it Wednesday night when the supervisors voted against a resolution to oppose the PennEast natural gas pipeline.”We’re worse than disgusted,” said Linda Heindel, one of at least 50 people who attended the… - Allentown Morning Call
12-12-2014 New study concludes fracking threatens Pa.’s parks, forests, but Corbett official disputes report
A statewide environmental advocacy group Thursday released a study that concludes gas drilling is posing a “far-reaching” threat to parks, forests and public lands across Pennsylvania. PennEnvironment lays much of the blame at the feet of Gov. Tom Corbett and… - Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
12-12-2014 Township becomes first in Lebanon County to pass resolution against proposed gas pipeline
A Lebanon County township has followed the path of three Lancaster County municipalities in passing a resolution against the proposed Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline. South Londonderry Township supervisors on Tuesday passed a resolution opposing the pipeline and will send the resolution to the Federal Energy… - Lancaster Intelligencer Journal
12-11-2014 Guar beans prove to be vital to United States fracking, food industries
In the supply chain of the modern frack job, the fluid used to expel gas from underground shale has been a flash point. Fracking fluid contains water, sand and a cocktail of chemicals but its success in shattering shale has often hinged on a bean that also is used as… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
12-11-2014 Pa. eyes air study near fracking sand facility
TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — State environmental regulators could use Tunkhannock as a case study to measure how facilities that handle hydraulic fracturing sand affect air quality… - AP
12-11-2014 Shale gas industry “ripe for noncompliance” with wage law
The “fissured landscape” of the shale gas industry is drawing regulators’ eyes as they seek to enforce labor laws, U.S. Department of Labor officials said. On Tuesday, the department announced an agreement with roughly 145 oil and gas employers to pay a combined $4.5 million in back wages to 5,300 workers… - Scranton Times
12-11-2014 MarkWest gets variance for gas compressor station in Donegal
WEST ALEXANDER – MarkWest will be able to keep its Carpenter compressor station in Donegal Township as it currently stands, but the company must cease construction until it gets a building permit. That was the decision of a three-member appeals board Wednesday, which called a hearing to order… - Washington Observer-Reporter
12-10-2014 Fire broke out in natural gas compressor station last week
A gauge leaking methane most likely caused an explosion and fire in a Susquehanna County natural gas compressor station last week. The Springville Volunteer Fire Company and Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agency were the first to arrive at the Au­­burn Compressor… - Scranton Times
12-10-2014 Marcellus Life: A small town in Elk County struggles with rules for drilling
About a dozen St. Marys officials, outfitted with baggy blue jumpsuits, earplugs and white plastic hard hats, recently visited a Seneca Resources well pad on a wooded hilltop to see what fracking is all about. This part of Pennsylvania, about 120 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in Elk… - Washington Observer-Reporter
12-10-2014 EQT well site complaints resurface in Finleyville
What Gary Baumgardner wants most for Christmas is a frack-free holiday. Baumgardner, who lives next to a well pad operated by EQT on Cardox Road in Union Township, wants the company to cease operations for a day so he can host a family dinner. It was not the first time Baumgardner and other residents complained about… - Washington Observer-Reporter
12-09-2014 Analysts predict Wolf to compromise on priorities as Pennsylvania governor
Eliminate a multibillion-dollar deficit while increasing funding for public education. Levy a tax on natural gas drillers. Enact a gift ban in the aftermath of a scandal. Those are the priorities analysts and officeholders see Gov.-elect Tom Wolf pursuing in his first months in office…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
12-09-2014 Oil Falls to 5-Year Low, and Energy Companies Start to Retrench
The price of crude oil continued to collapse on Monday, plunging to a five-year low, as oil giants began to scale back their drilling ambitions and pare the ranks of their workers. On the same day that the American oil benchmark traded around $63 a barrel, down more than 4 percent, ConocoPhillips announced it would cut investment… - New York Times
12-08-2014 Shale gas pipeline developer threatens to seize land
The developer of a $750 million natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania into New York has threatened to seize land from reluctant landowners through eminent domain… - AP
12-08-2014 Fossil-fuel lobbyists, bolstered by GOP wins, work to curb environmental rules
Oil, gas and coal interests that spent millions to help elect Republicans this year are moving to take advantage of expanded GOP power in Washington and state capitals to thwart Obama administration environmental rules. Industry lobbyists made their pitch in private meetings last week with… - Washington Post
12-08-2014 Rice Energy aims for $600 million IPO for pipeline spinoff
The latest Pennsylvania shale company to spin off its pipeline operations into a separate firm hopes to raise as much as $600 million in an initial offering of stock. Cecil-based Rice Energy Inc. early Monday set an initial price of $19 to $21 for shares in Rice Midstream Partners and said it will offer 25 million… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


December 2-7

12-07-2014 Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General
The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state…. - New York Times
12-07-2014 The best run states in the country are ones with lots of natural resources and Republican governors
The best run states in the United States tend to be neighboring Republican states in the middle of the country with rich resources and low unemployment, according to a new ranking. A list compiled by 24/7 Wall Street shows North Dakota is the best run state in America, followed by Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Utah…. - Washington Post
12-07-2014 Community divided over Cove Point natural gas terminal
Pete Ide readied lures on the deck of his fishing boat and talked about the old gas terminal off in the early morning darkness, somewhere down the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Ide thinks local government played a poor game of hold ’em against the gas company, with hundreds of millions of dollars on the table…. - Washington Post
12-07-2014 ‘Stranded assets’: Will efforts to counter warming render energy reserves worthless?
A major threat to fossil fuel companies has suddenly moved from the fringe to center stage with a dramatic announcement by Germany’s biggest power company and an intriguing letter from the Bank of England. A growing minority of investors and regulators are probing the possibility… - Washington Post
12-07-2014 Dominion South Point could be candidate for regional gas hub
People love a benchmark, even one that may no longer make sense, says David Marks, owner of Duquesne-based natural gas and power marketing firm PA Energy Fuels LLC. That’s why the Henry Hub — a physical place in Louisiana that was once the most popular trading spot for natural gas in the country —… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
12-07-2014 Summit’s message: Pipeline key in shale-energy revolution
Unless Philadelphia builds a robust connection to Pennsylvania’s gas fields, the region is at risk of being bypassed by the Marcellus Shale energy revolution, a gathering of business and public officials heard Friday. ”Creating an energy hub for greater Philadelphia is really a very important… - Philadelphia Inquirer
12-07-2014 Wolf’s $1B drilling tax prediction might be high
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf might have been off the mark by hundreds of millions of dollars when he said during his campaign that a new severance tax on natural gas drillers would raise more than $1 billion, potentially complicating his bid to secure new funding for Pennsylvania schools and… - AP
12-07-2014 Gas industry expert: Gov.-elect Wolf shouldn’t tax natural gas
If Pennsylvania wants to continue benefiting economically from its Marcellus Shale natural gas boom, it should avoid slapping drillers with a severance tax.That’s the warning issued by John Felmy, chief economist with the American Petroleum Institute, who visited Palmer Township Friday to… - Allentown Morning Call
12-05-2014 Greene County man charged with damaging natural gas well pad
A Greene County man has been indicted in federal court on charges of damaging a natural gas well pad by stealing copper wire. Brian Harbarger, 35, of Crucible, was charged under seal Tuesday with damaging an energy facility. Prosecutors said he stole wire on March 26 from the Burchianti Pad in… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
12-05-2014 Range Resources to flare Utica well in Donegal
At a well site in Beaver County in 2009, Range Resources became the first company to drill horizontally into the Utica Shale formation, which sits more than 3,000 feet beneath the Marcellus Shale. Now, more than a decade later, Range has become the first to drill a Utica well in Washington… - Washington Observer-Reporter
12-05-2014 MarkWest operates Donegal compessor station without permit
MarkWest faced no resistance from Donegal Township when the company said it wanted to build a natural gas compressor station atop a high hill along Old National Pike. That is, until the football field-sized building was constructed without a building permit…. - Washington Observer-Reporter
12-05-2014 Marcellus Shale fuels lower natural and propane gas prices this winter
Fueled by Marcellus shale development, natural gas prices in the midstate just went down 4.7 percent from summer as winter begins. That will leave natural gas prices about 0.9 percent lower than last winter, according to UGI Gas Service, which serves the midstate…. - Harrisburg Patriot-News
12-04-2014 Wolf likely to make severance tax an early priority
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf will enter office next month facing Republican majorities in the state Senate and House of Representatives that grew as a result of the most recent election. But he should find support for one of his biggest campaign pledges — to impose a severance tax on natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
12-04-2014 Official: ‘Reality check’ looms for Pa. budget
A top official with the outgoing Corbett administration and incoming Gov.-elect Tom Wolf agree on this much: The state will head into 2015 with a roughly $2 billion shortfall looming for next year’s budget. But while Budget Secretary Charles Zogby pointed to sluggish revenues and… - Philadelphia Inquirer
12-04-2014 Feds give final nod to Constitution pipeline
The federal agency in charge of interstate natural gas pipelines gave its final approval to a 124-mile line to ship gas from Susquehanna County to Schoharie County, New York. But Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC isn’t finished yet. The company must still seek permits from Pennsylvania, New York and the Army Corps of… - Scranton Times
12-04-2014 Methane emissions decline in Marcellus Shale, group says
A new report from Energy In Depth – a research and education program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America – shows that methane emissions from oil and natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin, which includes the Marcellus Shale, have fallen by 10 percent since 2011…. - Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
12-04-2014 Pa. seeks firm for gas fueling venture
The state’s newest privatization venture involves pairing compressed natural gas fueling stations with local mass transit agencies. The Public-Private Transportation Board wants to hear from private firms interested in designing, building and maintaining up to 37 stations across… - Hazleton Standard-Speaker
12-03-2014 Allegheny County Council asked to put a limit on drilling at parks
Allegheny County Council passed a 2015 budget on Tuesday, but only after more than 30 county residents implored members to consider a hold on further drilling at county parks in the first citizen-sponsored ordinance to come before the panel. Members of the Protect Our Parks coalition collected more than 1,800… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
12-03-2014 DEP fines Cabot for January tank explosion caused by cellphone
On a cold, breezy Jan. 11 night, a water truck driver climbed a tank that sat next to a set of producing Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. wells in Susquehanna County. The rectangular metal tank held production fluid, according to a state Department of Environmental Protection report from that night. The term… - Scranton Times
12-03-2014 WPX Energy sells Marcellus Shale assets in Northeast Pennsylvania for $300 million
An Oklahoma-based energy company will sell its Marcellus Shale assets in Northeast Pennsylvania to Southwestern Energy Co. as part of a $300 million deal. WPX Energy, which specializes in producing natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids, announced the agreement Tuesday. The two parties are expected to… - Scranton Times
12-03-2014 Local natural gas suppliers contribute to abundant global supply
While an abundance of natural gas supplies has flowed from this region to the rest of the world, lower gasoline prices have trickled down to consumers locally. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided on Thanksgiving not to reduce oil production, leading supply to outstrip demand and… - Washington Observer-Reporter
12-03-2014 Conestoga Township rejects anti-pipeline ordinance
Conestoga Township supervisors voted 3-0 Tuesday evening to reject a “community rights” ordinance aimed at blocking a controversial natural gas pipeline through the community. About 200 members of the audience began filing out of the Conestoga Fire Hall even before the formal vote was taken. Shouts of “shame on you” and… - Lancaster Intelligencer Journal