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.

February 23-March 1

03-01-2015 Severance tax on natural gas drilling backed by Pa. voters
More Pennsylvania voters favor adding a severance tax on natural gas production than oppose the proposal, and they’re more likely to believe taxes on gas companies are too low, an industry-commissioned poll found. When asked whether it’s the right time to raise taxes for education and new… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-01-2015 Shift in what powers the grid raises concerns about fuel diversity
It’s been described as a “jolt” to United States power systems, exposing a textbook example of how not to run our electrical grid. The so-called polar vortex of early 2014 sent heating bills skyrocketing, utilities scrambling for fuel and politicians calling for change. A few… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-01-2015 Port Authority focusing on natural-gas bus fleet for proposed rapid transit line
Buses that will run along Port Authority of Allegheny County’s proposed bus rapid-transit line from Downtown to Oakland will be fueled by natural gas, the agency’s board chairman said Friday. Chairman Bob Hurley announced at a Port Authority meeting that he… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
03-01-2015 Upstate New York towns consider seceding to Pennsylvania
CONKLIN, N.Y. (AP) – Plenty of people leave New York state but in a job-hungry stretch of upstate, folks talk about staying put and seceding to Pennsylvania… - AP
03-01-2015 Report: Fracking failures lead to environmental harm in area and state
A report released Tuesday by a nonprofit environmental research group shows that despite assurances to the contrary, companies who develop unconventional natural gas wells have polluted the environment in Pennsylvania and will continue to do so under current regulatory standards…. - Uniontown Herald-Standard
03-01-2015 Firm hired for PennEast natural gas pipeline tied to Marcellus shale, report says
The federal agency deciding whether a controversial natural-gas pipeline cutting through Northampton County is approved has hired a company connected to the Marcellus Shale Coalition to conduct its environmental impact study, according to a report. NJ.com is reporting Tetra Tech, based in Pasadena, California, was hired by… - Easton Express-Times
03-01-2015 Low prices mean dark days for region’s oil producers
FRANKLIN — Glenn Weaver, 73, has enjoyed his share of prosperity during a lifetime spent drilling and pumping oil on the steep, tree-covered hillsides near Franklin. But he’s also seen his share of busts, times when the region’s oil producers could hardly pay their bills. The industry’s darkest days, he… - Erie Times-News
02-27-2015 Few in Westmoreland County opposed to expansion plan for Mariner pipeline
The expansion of a natural gas liquids pipeline that attracted some opposition during the first phase found a friendlier reception Thursday among Westmoreland County residents preparing for another round of construction. “I think it will be simpler this time around,” said Virginia… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-27-2015 Marcellus Shale is ‘money in the bank’ that these landowners can’t touch
WINDSOR, NY — The decades of hard work are in the lines that crease Robert Brink’s stoic face. The work is embedded in his calloused hands, too. A lifetime of work in the cold, windswept, unforgiving climes of Upstate New York. First, as a logger, then as a snowplow driver for Windsor, keeping… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-27-2015 Wolf to Obama: ‘We cannot afford to wait for a major incident’ to improve railroad safety
Gov. Tom Wolf made a call for action to improve the safety of transporting crude on Pennsylvania railroads Friday in a letter to President Barack Obama. Wolf outlined his concerns over the transportation of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region through Pennsylvania in his letter. Each week,… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-26-2015 Wolf tax proposal puts Beaver County Shell plant at risk
Royal Dutch Shell warned Gov. Tom Wolf that policies which hurt gas production could affect the company’s decision on whether to build a multibillion-dollar plant in Beaver County to turn ethane into plastics, the head of a gas industry group said Wednesday…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-26-2015 Marcellus Shale fracking foe: Drillers are ‘vampires’ who ‘suck blood and leave’
BINGHAMTON, NY — To hear fracking opponents tell it, the New York ban on deep, high volume, water-driven drilling on the rich Marcellus Shale is the best thing to ever happen to the Southern Tier. This is a 180-degree view from the depressing, put-upon sentiment among… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-26-2015 A drilling ban and severance tax – Gov. Wolf’s opening moves are bad news for the gas industry: Louis D. D’Amico
By Louis D. D’Amico ”The alternative is not really no tax, the alternative is no drilling, a ban as in the case of New York.” Those 21 words, spoken by Gov. Tom Wolf at a Feb. 11 news conference announcing his plans for a severance tax in the Commonwealth supposedly… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-26-2015 Supervisors seek noise reduction at well pad in Union Township
FINLEYVILLE – A Marcellus Shale natural gas driller will be asked to reduce noise at its well pad in Union Township, where a number of independent tests of the worksite were ordered to address complaints from neighbors. There have been times when the noise has been slightly above acceptable… - Washington Observer-Reporter
02-26-2015 Hundreds gather to learn about pipeline to Sunbury Generation LLC
SUNBURY – Approximately 300 people packed the Sunbury Social Club Wednesday night for the second of two informational meetings about the Sunbury Pipeline project. The attendees, made up of utility employees, landowners and labor union representatives, were there to discuss the 35-mile pipeline that would run… - Shamokin News-Item
02-26-2015 County resident slapped with fine for protest at Wolf inauguration
NORTH BEAVER TWP. — Ever since the hydraulic fracturing industry set up shop near her farm, Maggie Henry has been loudly fighting against it. So it was probably inevitable that she was arrested and jailed Jan. 20 on a charge of making unreasonable noise, and only slightly less inevitable that… - Ellwood City Ledger
02-26-2015 New York town to find a way to frack the Marcellus Shale despite state ban
WINDSOR, NY – This town of 5,000 people situated near the Pennsylvania border and directly over one of the richest deposits of the gas-laden Marcellus Shale formation is moving forward with ordinances that would clear the way for fracking. Yes, that is right, Windsor Town officials are planning to approve fracking… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-26-2015 Lawsuit filed in Highland Twp. injection well dispute
After years of back-and-forth, a Highland Township injection well dispute has landed before a federal judge now tasked with deciding, once and for all, if a municipal ban on the oil and gas wastewater disposal method stands or falls. The suit, filed in Erie federal court last week by Houston-based driller… - Bradford Era
02-25-2015 Oil, gas industry abstractors research public records to report on lease sites
Patty Halvin, chief operating officer of Oil and Gas Title Abstracting in Washington, Pa., spends her days compiling critical pieces of history for the oil and gas industry. That history enables drillers to extract natural gas from shale formations deep underground, which depend on their obtaining… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-25-2015 How Marcellus Shale divided a state: ‘Left-wing wackos’ vs. struggling small towns
Even if the small towns in New York State’s economically struggling Southern Tier never actually secede to join Pennsylvania, the intrastate battle over fracking the Marcellus Shale has already divided the Empire State. The divisions here are as deep as they are bitter. Pick your comparison:… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-25-2015 Superior Court hears arguments on release of gas well chemicals
PITTSBURGH – A Range Resources attorney argued in Superior Court Tuesday the natural gas drilling company should not bear the burden of producing a full list of products and chemicals it used at a well site in Amwell Township. A three-judge panel heard arguments stemming from Range’s appeal of a… - Washington Observer-Reporter
02-25-2015 South Strabane struggles with drilling ordinance
South Strabane supervisors hired a technical consultant to review proposed changes to their oil and gas ordinance as they continue to grapple how to proceed with the issue. The supervisors delayed a vote at their Tuesday night meeting on the amendment dealing with how to govern drilling support facilities in… - Washington Observer-Reporter
02-25-2015 Natural Gas Consumer Access Bill passes Senate committee
HARRISBURG – An effort to provide local natural gas service to un-served and under-served areas of Pennsylvania was overwhelmingly supported by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, according to state Senator Gene Yaw (R-23). SB214, sponsored by Yaw and known as the Natural Gas Expansion… - Towanda Daily Review
02-24-2015 Federal antitrust suit filed over low Marcellus Shale natural gas royalty payments
SCRANTON — Two Marcellus Shale natural gas companies have been accused of attempting to monopolize, to the detriment of royalty payments, certain natural gas services in the Marcellus Shale region of northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania. The allegation against Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Access Midstream… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-24-2015 Marcellus Shale envy: New trucks, snowmobiles in ‘every’ Pa. driveway
CONKLIN, NY — Nearly everyone, it seems, in New York State’s economically stagnant Southern Tier has a story of Marcellus Shale success in neighboring Pennsylvania. The bartender at Birtchy’s Joint knows a New York truck driver who doubled his income simply by going south of the border to work for a Pa. employer… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-24-2015 Robinson families appeal decision on zoning challenge
At a hearing in January, attorney Dwight Ferguson spoke on behalf of three Robinson Township families who complained that a zoning amendment opened more areas to natural gas drilling. Order a Print Advertisement Three couples from Bulger are appealing the Robinson Township zoning… - Washington Observer-Reporter
02-23-2015 Glut, lease terms ding gas royalty checks
When Craig Sweger started getting royalty checks for mineral rights he leased to Range Resources in 2001, the extra money amply funded new equipment for his hay farm and allowed him to help out his family and community. But his generosity is being hurt by the low price of natural gas and lower… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-23-2015 Pa. environmental rules rewrite on shaky track to 2016 deadline
New faces in the governor’s office, changes in the makeup of two advisory boards and a series of delayed meetings will not derail Pennsylvania’s largest rewrite of environmental rules for gas and oil drilling since the shale era began, the industry’s top state regulator promises…. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-23-2015 Cabot official highlights shale links with business neighbors around airport
George Stark, director of external affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., wanted his business neighbors along the Parkway West corridor to recognize how shale gas energy links them. So he started throwing get-togethers. The first one went so well, it turned into an ongoing “Meet Your Energy… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-23-2015 Local companies find ways to tap into Marcellus, Utica shale-gas business
When the overall economy soured in 2008, Highland Tank & Manufacturing in Stoystown – the largest steel tank manufacturer in the country, according to the company – had a fallback: selling to the burgeoning energy industry. “It was, and is, good business for Highland Tank,” sales manager… - Johnstown Tribune-Democrat

 Articles of interest this week from StateImpact Pennsylvania:


 

February 17-22

02-22-2015 More sand goes into shale wells, and more comes out
As shale gas operators in the Marcellus have been saying for the past year, more sand is going into the ground in Pennsylvania to keep fractures open while gas flows out. And, consequently, more sand is coming out of the ground, along with the gush of flowback water that streams out of wells… - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
02-22-2015 Shell, Center Township discuss relocating wells
Center Township Water Authority is negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell about relocating four aquifer wells located on the site of a proposed petrochemical plant in Potter, Beaver County, the authority’s vice chairman said Thursday. Should Shell build on the Potter site along the Ohio River, the authority… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-22-2015 Rex Energy holds gas lease to land tabbed for VA clinic
Rex Energy holds an oil and gas lease for land that’s the site of a troubled project to build a Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Center. Rex said it has no plans this year to drill on or develop the property. “That said, Rex has every intention to responsibly develop this… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-20-2015 Fracking application under review in Penn Township
A Penn Township zoning board is reviewing plans for a Marcellus Shale gas drilling operation at the eastern end of the township, considering what is the first application for hydraulic fracturing since commissioners started revising their zoning laws late last year…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
02-20-2015 Lieutenant governor advocates for shale gas tax at Squirrel Hill school
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack on Thursday blamed slow job growth in Pennsylvania on cuts to state public education funding, something he said a tax on natural gas extraction would remedy. “We’re at the exact bottom in job creation, and that’s because we’re not investing in our young people,” Stack said at Taylor Allderdice… - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
02-20-2015 Texas firm joins venture to build large natural gas-fired generating plant in Snyder County
SHAMOKIN DAM– A Texas company that is building two natural gas-fired power plants in Bradford and Lycoming counties has entered into a joint venture for a larger one in Snyder County. Panda Power Funds of Dallas, Texas, announced this week it was joining Sunbury Generation to develop, finance and operate a 1,000 megawatt plant… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-20-2015 Scientists measure low methane leaks from northeast Marcellus gas fields
From a four-engine turboprop plane high above the Marcellus Shale gas fields in Northeast Pennsylvania, scientists measured methane, a potent greenhouse gas. They found relatively low emissions. Researchers with the University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for… - Scranton Times
02-20-2015 Natural gas production breaking records
Pennsylvania’s unconventional gas wells continued to blast production records out of the water last year, pumping out nearly 4 trillion cubic feet of gas. According to data the state Department of Environmental Protection released Tuesday, Feb. 17, operators working in the Marcellus Shale industry… - Towanda Daily Review
02-20-2015 Anti-trust lawsuit filed against Chesapeake Energy and Williams Partners
“More than 90 landowners and other owners of royalty interests in natural gas produced in Bradford County have filed a lawsuit asserting that Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Williams Partners, LP, formerly known as Access Midstream Partners, L.P., have conspired to restrain trade in the… - Towanda Daily Review
02-19-2015 UGI encourages gas conservation as forecasters call for extreme cold
UGI is encouraging natural gas customers to consider voluntarily conserving their usage as forecasters are predicting frigid wind chill temperatures for the midstate. The company, which is based out of Reading and serves about 670,000 customers across 45 counties in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland, is… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-19-2015 Wolf’s conservation secretary nominee: Obligation to honor natural gas leases
Cindy Dunn’s cell phone case is bulky enough to survive frequent kayaking trips, a must considering it houses the numbers of virtually every environmental expert in the state. ”If not for this, it would’ve destroyed a dozen times by now,” she says, standing in her new office on the seventh floor of the Rachel Carson… - Harrisburg Patriot-News
02-19-2015 Environmental lawyer presents report on pipeline proposal to Lower Saucon officials
An environmental attorney pointed to several irregularities associated with the proposed 108-mile PennEast pipeline Wednesday that question whether the natural gas it’s would transport would be used in the U.S. and highlighted a peculiar arrangement in the review process of opposition comments…. - Allentown Morning Call
02-19-2015 North Strabane officials to vote on third Marcellus Shale well
North Strabane Township officials are expected to vote next week on whether to approve a third Marcellus Shale well in the township. The township held a conditional use hearing Tuesday night on an application from Range Resources to drill on 126 acres of land owned by Edward and… - Washington Observer-Reporter
02-19-2015 Local municipalities file Act 13 briefs in Supreme Court
More than a year after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that major provisions of Act 13 were unconstitutional, other provisions of the state law governing oil and natural gas development are returning to the high court for review. The parties that first challenged the law in 2012 are now appealing a… - Washington Observer-Reporter
02-19-2015 Wolf pushes education funding plan in W-B
WILKES-BARRE — Gov. Tom Wolf visited Coughlin High School on Wednesday to tout his plan to increase state education funding with a tax on natural-gas drilling. The Democrat said he will reveal more details about state education allocations for the next school year in two weeks when he submits his first… - Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice
02-19-2015 DEP hears pros, cons of Sunoco pipeline plan in W. Cornwall
Quentin – They came from Harrisburg, Lancaster, Marysville and western Pennsylvania, among other places, to comment on the proposed building of a pipeline pumping station in West Cornwall Township. But it was a township resident, protesting the pumping station, who received applause from the 50… - Primos Delaware County Daily and Sunday Times
02-18-2015 Pennsylvania DEP to create separate boards for shale, conventional drilling
HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is replacing all of the members of its oil and gas advisory board to give it a greater focus on shale drilling, while creating a second board to advise the agency about regulations affecting the traditional drilling industry…. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
02-18-2015 Ohio to rein over drilling, court rules
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Certain local zoning laws aimed at limiting fracking can’t be used to circumvent the state’s authority over oil and gas drilling, a fiercely divided Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday… - AP
02-18-2015 UGI planning new natural gas pipeline
UGI Corp., of Valley Forge, on Tuesday announced plans to build a 35-mile $160 million pipeline to deliver Marcellus Shale natural gas to a planned 1,000-megawatt power plant near Shamokin Dam in Snyder County. The 20-inch diameter, steel underground pipeline will transport 200 million… - Philadelphia Inquirer
02-18-2015 Experts say leasing mineral rights could be better deal for Ford City
Despite Ford City’s financial woes, some experts in the oil and gas industry believe the borough should shop around before accepting a Kittanning company’s $150,000 offer to buy the mineral rights on polluted property it owns near Cadogan. Snyder Brothers, an oil and gas producer, made the offer late last year to… - Kittanning Leader-Times
02-17-2015 Congressional Democrats want to raise fracking oversight, target Pa., W.Va., Ohio
WASHINGTON — Democrats on a congressional oversight panel are stepping up their investigation into how well states are regulating the disposal of oil and gas waste, citing continuing public concern about the potential environmental and health risks of hydraulic fracturing… - AP
02-17-2015 Landowners’ tax case reflects call for change in natural gas royalty arrangements
John and Lois Miller are breathing a little easier after getting some relief from the state Department of Revenue, which originally questioned more than $17,000 in deductions they took in relation to natural gas royalties they earned over the past few years…. - Washington Observer-Reporter
02-17-2015 Pulaski zoning ordinance challenge begins
PULASKI TOWNSHIP – A four-hour hearing Monday was not long enough to complete testimony to a challenge to Pulaski Township’s zoning… - Sharon Herald
02-17-2015 Natural gas filling station proposed in Lower Mount Bethel Township
Initial plans are underway to construct an alternative fuel station in Lower Mount Bethel Township and convert a fleet of trucks that can run on natural gas. Members of the H&K Group and its trucking haulers W.W. Transport Inc. stood before township supervisors Monday to begin preliminary discussions… - Easton Express-Times

 Other items of interest this week: