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.

November 10-16

11-16-2014 State liquor stores sale more likely with gas tax bargain, analyst says
The next state House speaker won’t consider more taxes on Pennsylvania natural gas drilling until fellow lawmakers take another look at his plan to privatize liquor stores. “If the discussion is about more revenue, that has to be the first place anybody looks,” Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said in… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-16-2014 Oil, gas industry tries to keep talent in pipeline
Four years ago, Bryan Dickson and Matt Ockree were among the youngest engineers working on gas well pads in Western Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale fields. “I was out in the frack van with Bryan a lot of days and a lot of nights, learning from the people with more experience,” said Ockree,… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-16-2014 Kittanning companies take gas drilling in a different direction
Work is ramping up at an East Franklin site that is home to Snyder Brothers’ and MDS Energy’s first horizontal Marcellus shale well in Armstrong County. A large rig has been set up and is expected to start drilling Saturday. Crews drilled vertical wells at the site earlier in the month…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-16-2014 Safety the focus of Consol summit
The new speaker spoke energy Friday. “The continued development of natural gas and clean coal is contributing to the economies of Pennsylvania families,” state Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County, said to a small klatsch of reporters at the DoubleTree hotel on Racetrack Road in Meadow Lands…. - Washington Observer-Reporter
11-14-2014 Natural gas industry rains cash for state lawmakers’ campaigns, lobbying efforts
The natural gas industry spent nearly $50 million on campaign contributions and lobbying in Pennsylvania since 2007, giving it unwarranted influence over lawmakers, according to two advocacy groups that have been criticized for their opposition to gas drilling…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-14-2014 New Stanton turnpike plaza 1st to offer compressed natural gas
Motorists who drive vehicles that use compressed natural gas can fill up at the New Stanton plaza of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Turnpike commission officials Thursday kicked off the opening of three CNG fueling dispenser stations at the plaza. The New Stanton plaza is the first of the commission’s 17 plazas to offer… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-14-2014 Second public meeting held on Mt. Pleasant zoning
In the heart of Marcellus Shale country in Washington County, the million-dollar question is where natural gas drilling should occur. Mt. Pleasant Township is halfway through a yearlong process to overhaul its oil and gas zoning ordinance, which moved forward with a public meeting… - Washington Observer-Reporter
11-14-2014 Halliburton Is in Talks to Buy Rival Baker Hughes
Halliburton is in talks to buy Baker Hughes, a potential acquisition that would unite two of the biggest oil field services providers in what would be one of the largest energy deals in years, Baker Hughes confirmed on Thursday. It is not clear what price Halliburton is considering, but Baker Hughes… - New York Times
11-14-2014 Worker killed in explosion at Noble County oil and gas facility
Fracking sites claimed lives in Ohio and Colorado this week, bringing home concerns about worker safety that have grown as the controversial method of collecting oil and gas has increased. A Virginia man working on an oil and gas pump at a fracking site in Noble… - Columbus Dispatch
11-14-2014 Kerosene in fracking fluid: It’s toxic but legal
In the last three years, 230,171 gallons of kerosene — a petroleum distillate with chemical components that are toxic to humans and wildlife — were used in fracking fluid in 129 wells throughout Fayette County. And it was all within the letter of the law. “They are environmental terrorists,” according to Ken Dufalla,… - Ellwood City Ledger
11-14-2014 As House approves Keystone pipeline, Obama veto grows more likely
Even as the House passed legislation Friday authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline by a decisive vote of 252 to 161, President Obama is signaling he is increasingly skeptical of the project. Congressional momentum for granting the permit has accelerated in the wake… - Washington Post
11-13-2014 EQT gets OK to look at drilling in shale on East Allegheny school district land
The East Allegheny school board has unanimously approved a lease agreement that will allow EQT Production Co. to drill in the Marcellus Shale on district land. Solicitor Daniel Beisler said the company will work for six months to find possible drilling sites on district parcels. EQT representatives will look… - Pittsburgh Post-Gaztte
11-13-2014 Opponents of selling PGW could push for revenues from LNG
If the deal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works dies, the city has several opportunities it can pursue to increase earnings from its gas utility. One of the more alluring alternatives: Liquefied natural gas, or LNG. The city utility’s most valuable asset is a four-decade-old industrial… - Philadelphia Inquirer
11-13-2014 PennEast makes a case for its pipeline
About 11 years ago, Peter Benson bought 21 acres in northern Moore Township. It was the perfect investment, a scenic, wooded spot to hunt with his three dogs — two English pointers and a Rhodesian ridgeback — and a parcel of land he could, if he ever wants to, split up to accommodate two… - Allentown Morning Call
11-12-2014 Disagreement on legal authority complicates local fracking bans
Last week in eastern Ohio, where natural gas production in the Utica Shale has been booming, voters in three towns rejected ballot proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing. While Athens overwhelmingly passed a fracking ban, Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown voted down their measures…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
11-12-2014 All eyes on Tom Wolf as governor-elect begins vetting cabinet
Welcome to hunting season at the Capitol. The period between Nov. 4 and inauguration day, on Jan. 20, is a particularly important one for new administrations. Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has already chosen his chief of staff, Katie McGinty, and will soon begin the complicated process of vetting, courting and publicly announcing cabinet… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
11-12-2014 South Strabane Township delays vote on Range conditional-use application
South Strabane Township supervisors delayed a vote on a Range Resources well pad on Kopper Kettle Road Tuesday because two board members were absent and a third said she would abstain from the vote on the Marcellus Shale company’s conditional-use application…. - Washington Observer-Reporter
11-12-2014 West Cornwall hears from Sunoco — not residents — on gas pipeline
QUENTIN >> A representative of Sunoco Logistics Partners spoke about the proposed Mariner East 1 gas pipeline at Monday’s West Cornwall Township meeting. About 30 local residents could not. Don Zoladklewicz of SLP community relations, presented a brief history of the project and listed a… - Lebanon Daily News
11-12-2014 Rice Energy narrows loss, boosts production
Rice Energy Inc. narrowed its loss during the past quarter to $6.9 million, or 5 cents per share, from $33.7 million, or 38 cents per share during the same period last year. Operating revenues for the Canonsburg-based oil and gas operator increased from $23.7 million to $79.1 million between the two quarters…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
11-12-2014 Did gas drilling contaminate his water? Centre County man is frustrated at his government’s response: Analysis by Matt Zencey
The first letter from Donald Ludwig arrived last year in late October. Addressed to various media and public officials, the lines of small handwriting crammed together gave a detailed account of strange things happening to his well water and to his health. He suspected the cause was “fracking” – the common shorthand term for… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
11-11-2014 Marcellus players looking long-term
If there’s a notion out there of wildcatters hopping from town to town, striking it rich on an oil and gas well and moving on to the next great thing, it isn’t so today. Not with shale. This, companies say, is a long-term game. It has to be so for the economics to make sense, as companies struggle with… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
11-11-2014 Rex Energy puts Marcellus shale drilling site work in Middlesex on hold during appeals
Rex Energy has suspended development of a controversial Marcellus shale drilling site in Middlesex, Butler County, until appeals are settled, according to a letter sent to several people who live in the area. “At this time, the duration of the delay in operations is not… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-10-2014 Site work could begin within days on property for proposed Shell plant
POTTER TWP. – Site work could begin within a matter of days for the proposed $2.5 billion Shell Chemicals ethane cracker plant in Beaver County. A source familiar with the project said Friday that Trumbull Corp., a contractor based on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, was awarded the coveted… - Ellwood City Ledger



November 3-7

11-07-2014 Sunoco to go ahead with $2.5 billion pipeline through Pennsylvania
If Sunoco Logistics has its way, it will turn Marcus Hook, a century-old refinery site in eastern Pennsylvania, into a hub for natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. “We want to make Marcus Hook the new Mont Belvieu,” said CEO Michael Hennigan, referring to the reigning destination on the Texas Gulf… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
11-07-2014 Mixed reaction to plan for Chesco pipeline
The lunch crowd at Italiano’s in Marcus Hook was buzzing Thursday with news of a massive expansion of the Sunoco Logistics complex down the street. ”There’s a lot of commotion,” owner Mario Giambrone said. “It’s going to be something real big here.” Giambrone relies on Sunoco Logistics employees as customers and was happy… - Philadelphia Inquirer
11-07-2014 Panel to PennEast pipeline foes in Williams Township: Get together, get involved
More than 130 people filled the Williams Township Fire Company No. 1 building Thursday night to find out how to fight the natural gas pipeline that PennEast is proposing to build through the Lehigh Valley and into New Jersey. Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth, told residents that she has been… - Allentown Morning Call
11-07-2014 Despite pleas from two citizens, commissioners enter into lease with Range to extract Mingo natural gas
Two citizens asked the Washington County commissioners Thursday to hold off on signing a lease to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale layer beneath Mingo Creek County Park until convening public meetings specifically on the pros and cons, but board members just a few minutes… - Washington Observer-Reporter
11-07-2014 ShaleNet forum focuses on educating new workforce
MEADOW LANDS – For the past several years, the annual ShaleNet Forum has worked to keep emerging trends in the natural gas industry in front of educators, the public and the local business community. This year’s forum, held Wednesday and Thursday at the DoubleTree on… - Washington Observer-Reporter
11-07-2014 Authors discuss global implications of U.S. ‘shale gale’
It’s been 25 years since the Cold War between Russia and the West officially ended, but Ezra Levant sees a new conflict heating up, this time over natural gas. Levant, the author of “Groundswell: A Case for Fracking,” was one of two featured speakers Wednesday at the Washington County Chamber of… - Washington Observer-Reporter
11-07-2014 Wilmington considers oil, gas amendments
Wilmington Township is considering the strictest oil and gas drilling rules in the county. Officials unveiled the proposed zoning amendments Wednesday at the first of two public hearings. The second is set for 8 p.m. Nov. 19 at the township building. The supervisors may vote on adoption that night or at the regular meeting,… - New Castle News
11-07-2014 2 townships considering anti-pipeline ordinances
Two townships are considering voting on suggested ordinances intended to prevent a proposed natural gas pipeline from running through their communities. On Tuesday, Conestoga Township supervisors voted to advertise that they are looking at a citizens rights ordinance, which the supervisors would… - Lancaster Intelligencer Journal
11-07-2014 Vogel says Shell to exercise purchase option on Horsehead site
POTTER TWP. — In the most positive sign yet that it plans to move forward with a $2.5 billion ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, Shell Chemicals has decided to exercise its option to purchase the former Horsehead Corp. zinc plant site, a state senator said Thursday night…. - Ellwood City Ledger
11-07-2014 PennEast Pipeline 24-inch-diameter lateral proposed in Lower Saucon Township area
The group proposing a natural gas pipeline through Northampton and Hunterdon counties is eying an additional way to serve the Lehigh Valley with the fuel flowing from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region. PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC, a consortium of six energy companies, had… - Easton Express-Times
11-07-2014 State responds to hazardous waste clean-up company’s $20 million federal lawsuit
WILLIAMSPORT – The state attorney general’s office is urging a federal bankruptcy judge to abstain from exercising jurisdiction over a more than $20 million lawsuit brought against it by a Milton-area hazardous waste clean-up firm that has been charged criminally…. - Harrisburg Patriot-News
11-06-2014 Three of four proposed fracking bans fail in the Utica Shale
Local bans on hydraulic fracturing mostly failed on election night — at least in eastern Ohio, where natural gas production in the Utica Shale has been booming and where voters in four municipalities had the option to prohibit it. Fracking opponents on Tuesday got a lone victory in Athens, where voters… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
11-06-2014 Grants to help cap abandoned gas wells in Ohio Township and Kilbuck
State fees on new natural gas drilling sites will cover most of the costs of capping two old wells in Ohio Township and Kilbuck. The Commonwealth Financing Authority will give $140,000 to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for the project in its Toms Run Nature Reserve,… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
11-06-2014 Saudis continue to squeeze OPEC profits
VIENNA — Saudi Arabia showed little concern for fellow OPEC members by unilaterally cutting its oil prices to the United States this week, a move that casts doubts on the cartel’s credibility and its ability to find a common plan to stabilize the slumping energy market… - AP
11-05-2014 Fracking in Marcellus turns 10
It doesn’t take a petroleum engineer to see how far fracking has come since its first successful use on a Marcellus shale well 10 years ago. Bird’s-eye view photos of Range Resources Corp.’s work sites at the Renz well it completed in Washington County in 2004 and a more recent well… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-04-2014 Low oil prices send chills through oil patch
WILLISTON, N.D. — Marcus Jundt moved to Williston from Minnesota almost four years ago and has opened four restaurants there since. Food isn’t propelling his business, though… - AP
11-04-2014 Company to build small power plants in Marcellus region
A Pennsylvania company is advancing plans to build a dozen small power plants in the Marcellus Shale region, producing electricity for the grid directly from nearby gas wells. IMG Midstream L.L.C. on Friday presented plans to the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission in Wellsboro to build nine… - Philadelphia Inquirer
11-04-2014 Judge finds state, feds did not jointly investigate 2010 Marcellus well site leakage
WILLIAMSPORT — There is no evidence a joint federal-state investigation was conducted into the 2010 leak of an estimated 50,000 gallons of wastewater from a series of tanks at a Marcellus Shale well site near Hughesville, a Lycoming County judge has found. Monday’s ruling by Judge Marc F. Lovecchio rejects the argument of a Texas… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
11-04-2014 Township officials updated on well permit
The Environmental Protection Agency has granted a permit as of Oct. 31 for a proposed disposal injection well in Brady Township, Highland Street Extension resident Darlene Marshall told the Sandy Township Supervisors Monday. “We are about to go through the appeals process again. The permit is… - DuBois Courier-Express
11-03-2014 Mineral rights, royalties flowing to Western Pa. charities
Some universities and charities don’t need a gas well in their backyards to be enriched by the Marcellus shale frenzy. Contributions of mineral rights and royalty checks are flowing in from landowners who are sitting on fortunes because of the gas boom. Penn State University said it has received five to 10 gifts of royalty… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-03-2014 Natural gas glut in Appalachia keeps pushing prices downward
Lower gas prices and a production glut in Appalachia aren’t deterring the biggest drillers in the Marcellus shale. Companies continue to report surging production in their quarterly statements, and several are forecasting growth into next year. Production is growing because drillers are finding more efficient ways to… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11-03-2014 Bar institute publishes treatise on state oil and gas law
In 2008, Scranton attorney Stephen Saunders started his own firm to represent landowners swept up in the Marcellus Shale boom. Six years later, the Marcellus is the largest-producing shale gas basin in the U.S., and Mr. Saunders is co-editor of a Pennsylvania Bar Institute… - Scranton Times