The Pittsburgh-based energy company early Thursday announced it posted $110.9 million in net income, or 73 cents per share, during the three months that ended June 30. That’s a 27 percent increase over the $86.9 million profit on 58 cents a share it recorded in the same quarter last year.
Pennsylvania is home to the highest-producing natural-gas shale play in the United States, and Marcellus Shale wells continue to break records. During the last six months of 2013, the commonwealth produced 1.7 trillion cubic feet of gas, or an average of 9.2 billion cubic feet per day – enough to satisfy about an eighth of the nation’s daily natural-gas demand.
The continued safe and responsible development of Marcellus Shale natural gas presents a great opportunity to create new jobs and provide economic prosperity in the commonwealth.
With this prosperity, Pennsylvania is taking center stage in helping the United States achieve energy independence and reduce our need to rely on foreign energy sources. In addition to capital investments and job creation in energy, the development of the Marcellus Shale has the potential to greatly benefit Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector, in particular the steel industry. Perhaps the single most important product used to ensure the safe development of this abundant natural resource is high-quality steel pipe.
It is out with the old and in with the new at the 500-acre waterfront facility formerly known as the Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery, now the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex.
Workers last week ripped down aging petroleum-processing equipment, part of a labyrinth of machinery that has produced gasoline, diesel, and kerosene for more than a century. Other crews built cryogenic storage tanks more than 130 feet tall with three-foot-thick walls that will hold the future: new fuels from the prolific Marcellus Shale region.
Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., a pipeline company that bought the property for $60 million last year from its sister company, Sunoco Inc., is converting the site into a major center for processing and shipping natural gas liquids.
“We very much hope this is only the first step in this property,” said Jonathan Hunt, director of the complex. “We’re working on a lot of possible businesses. There’s a lot of opportunities here.”
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A small portion of Pennsylvania state forest land has been impacted by shale gas drilling, but many questions remain about how to manage the politically sensitive issue that is opposed by many residents, according to a new report.
The 268-page Department of Conservation and Natural Resources report issued this week concluded that “shale-gas production on state forest lands is neither benign nor catastrophic” and that there are clearly impacts and trade-offs.
“The question is what trade-offs are acceptable,” the report said.
The report found that about 1,486 acres of forest have been converted to various types of drilling-related development since 2008, including roads, well pads, and pipelines, out of about 2.2 million acres in the state forest system. That gas development resulted in 191 infrastructure pads and 104 miles of pipelines.
WEST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, PA – Sunoco Logistics Partners L.L.C. was granted a continuance Thursday night of its zoning hearing regarding a pump station it wants to put in at the corner of Boot Road and Route 202, much to the objection of hundreds of residents.
According to zoning board solicitor Mark Thompson, Sunoco originally appeared before the zoning hearing board three weeks ago and asked for the hearing to be continued to Thursday night. Between the last zoning hearing and Thursday, Sunoco submitted a request for continuance of the hearing. Thompson said he believed the reason for the request was to allow Sunoco time to find out answers to questions raised during the last hearing.
The project in the township, part of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline, includes the development of a pump enclosure, piping, valves and a vapor combustion system to be 34-feet high, according to the zoners.
The pump station would be constructed over existing pipelines that Sunoco previously shipped distilled petroleum through. The pipelines would be re-purposed to deliver natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale areas in western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery in Delaware County, Pennsylvania and New Castle County, Delaware.
Rodger Kendall says he never wanted to enter politics, but when he did, he waded into one of the biggest political conflicts in Pennsylvania.
Kendall became a supervisor in Robinson, Washington County, in January, less than three weeks since it won a landmark state Supreme Court ruling overturning part of new laws aimed at eliminating local obstacles to shale drilling.
Despite the win, he used his first night in office, Jan. 6, to lead a vote to remove Robinson from the case. Then he made his first official call as a township supervisor to Range Resources Corp.
In one election, voters dumped two of the township’s three supervisors and shifted the township’s position on drilling.
A decommissioned underground pipeline that once carried gasoline across the state and through Lancaster County could see new life from the Marcellus shale gas boom.
Representatives of Sunoco Inc., of Philadelphia, have recently been in West Cocalico and Clay townships doing site surveys and scouting locations for a pumping station needed as part of a statewide retrofit of the pipeline so that it can transport natural gas to a facility in Delaware.
“Mariner East 1 is a project to transport natural gas liquids (NGLs), also called liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) from the Marcellus and Utica shales in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex on the Pennsylvania/Delaware border,” Sunoco representative Jeff Shields wrote in an email Nov. 20.
The Mariner East 1 project would stretch from a Sunoco facility just outside Houston, Pa., in Chartiers Township, Washington County, to its transportation hub in Marcus Hook, Delaware County, or a distance of about 300 miles.
To endear a hotel to the oil and gas crowd, give them a place to eat and sleep at all hours of the day, a place to wash their boots, a warm place to smoke in the winter and a cold beer once in a while.
So goes the formula developed by Tejas Gosai, president of the Washington, Pa.-based business Shale Hotel Inc. The company is managing two hotels geared toward oil and gas workers, building two others and preparing to turn the Monroeville Holiday Inn into an industry destination for workers summoned here by the Marcellus Shale, the natural gas deposit underlying much of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Gosai represents a group of four doctors, among them his father, who bought the 187-room Monroeville hotel in June. His goal is to replicate there what he has helped to do in Bentleyville — attract at least half of the guests from oil and gas fields.
The Gosais have been in the hotel business for a dozen years. Kam Gosai, a practicing physician in Washington County, co-owns the Holiday Inn Express and the Best Western Garden Inn in Bentleyville.
Soon the playground at Gring’s Mill Recreation Area will be out of the woods, literally and figuratively.
Credit goes to an issue not likely to hit Berks County directly: drilling for natural gas.
County officials recently were told they could expect a check any day for $345,000 from the impact fees gas producers pay the state. That’s on top of the $349,068 they received last year. The money must be spent for parks and recreation projects.
The money enables the county to bump up the timetable for projects identified in the parks department’s five-year plan, and avoid spending taxpayer money on them, county Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt said.
The station, located near the T station at the edge of the Smithfield Street Bridge, is currently under construction. It will be owned by Desdemona Holdings LP and operate under the American Natural Retail brand.
Desdemona Holdings received a $372,300 grant and $248,200 loan to help complete the project. Desdemona is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cleopatra Resources LLC, a New York-based energy company with local offices near Homestead.
A timetable for completion was not given.
DUSHORE – Now that the major surgery that took place last year in the beautiful northern tier of Pennsylvania is complete, Frank Carr Jr. can tell Berks Countians what it is like to have an interstate natural gas pipeline implanted in your land.
You get paid. You see your land temporarily torn up. You have the right to object.
Ultimately, though, you may have no choice.
“To me, it just doesn’t seem right that they can come in and tell you where they are going,” said Carr, who co-owns a 500-acre dairy farm in Bradford County. “But I also know they have got to get the gas to market, and it is all a part of that.”
A project aimed at establishing a benchmark of regional residents’ health reinforced something already known — Northeastern Pennsylvania residents, generally speaking, are not very healthy.
“We wanted to create a baseline on the health of the community to use as a benchmark against future studies to see what effects, if any, and to what extent the industry will have had on the region’s health,” said Bob Durkin, president of the Cancer Institute.
Dr. Samuel Lesko, principal investigator for the survey, said a variety of issues related to “fracking” and other processes used to produce natural gas have contributed to community concerns about potential adverse health outcomes.
The natural-gas drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale could be the key to ending a 6-year hiatus in air service between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and the second-largest city in Pennsylvania.
A study examining the feasibility of providing commercial air service between Pittsburgh International Airport and 13 intrastate regional airports is halfway complete, said Jeffrey Hartz, a senior consultant at Mead & Hunt, the group hired to complete the report.
Funded in part by the Allegheny County Airport Authority, the study is designed to develop business plans – including possible costs and flight schedules – and market analyses for airport boards to present to interested airlines.
The study will assess the demand for adding connecting flights on a market-by-market basis and provide information, including how full an aircraft must be on a daily basis in order for an airline to profit.
Each day, 300 million gallons of polluted mine water enters Pennsylvania streams and rivers, turning many of them into dead zones unable to support aquatic life. At the same time, drilling companies use up to 5 million gallons of fresh water for every natural-gas well they frack.
State environmental officials and coal region lawmakers are hoping that the state’s newest extractive industry can help clean up a giant mess left by the last one. They are encouraging drillers to use tainted coal mine water to hydraulically fracture gas wells in the Marcellus Shale formation, with the twin goals of diverting pollution from streams and rivers that now run orange with mine drainage and reducing the drillers’ reliance on fresh sources of water.
Drainage from abandoned mines is one of the state’s worst environmental headaches, impairing 5,500 miles of waterways.
Pennsylvania’s Marcellus and other shale wells produced more than 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012, continuing a trend of production growth despite fewer drilling rigs in the field.
New production data reported by natural gas drilling companies and released by the state Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday showed that 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas flowed from unconventional wells in the state during the second half of 2012.
The wells produced an average of 6.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day between July and December, or enough to fulfill about 9 percent of the nation’s daily natural gas demand. The U.S. consumed about 70 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Geisinger Health System said Monday that the Degenstein Foundation had awarded the money to help underwrite what it called a “large-scale, scientifically rigorous assessment” of the drilling.
Most of the money will be used for data-gathering, and some will go toward developing studies of the data. Officials said they expect other funders to come forward.
The study is to look at detailed health histories of hundreds of thousands of patients who live near wells and other facilities that are producing natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation thousands of feet underground.
LNG is a commonly used acronym for liquefied natural gas, essentially natural gas that is put into liquid form, often for the purpose of transportation.
For international trade, LNG is sent in insulated tanker ships using refrigeration that keeps the liquefied natural gas at a chilly -260 degrees Fahrenheit. Global shipments travel to receiving terminals on a daily basis where pipelines are then used to provide this clean-burning energy source to homes, schools, businesses and government buildings. More receiving terminals are being built around the world each year.
In the U.S. there is growing debate over LNG exports, some of which could come from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations found in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
The Energy Information Administration estimates that in just three years natural gas supply could exceed demand, allowing the U.S. to be a net exporter of LNG. Bipartisan support for such exports has grown to include local and national politicians; most recently, more than 100 members of the House of Representatives signed onto a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu that asked the Obama administration for advance LNG exports without delay.
MONTROSE – Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Susan Sarandon spoke out against fracking Thursday during a tour of natural-gas drilling sites in Northeast Pennsylvania, warning about what they view as the danger to air, water and human health.
The celebrities boarded a tour bus in New York City and headed to rural Susquehanna County to see gas wells, compressor stations and other evidence of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom, and to visit with residents who say they have been negatively impacted by drilling.
Tom Shepstone of Energy In Depth, an industry group, trailed the sleek silver Mercedes tour bus – which had trouble negotiating an icy hill at one point and had to creep back down – and declared the celebrity visit to be a publicity stunt.
“They don’t pay mortgages here, they don’t have to get jobs here, they don’t have to pay taxes here, they don’t have to support their families here. They just come up here to pick on this area and use it as part of their trendy cause,” he said.
PITTSBURGH, PA – There’s been plenty of debate over the Marcellus Shale natural gas field, but new research adds a twist that could impact political and environmental battles. Two independent financial firms say the Marcellus isn’t just the biggest natural gas field in the country – it’s the cheapest place for energy companies to drill.
One of the reports adds that the Marcellus reserves that lie below parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York are far larger than recent government estimates, while another said the powerful combination of resource, cost and location is altering natural gas prices and market trends across the nation.
The Marcellus could contain “almost half of the current proven natural gas reserves in the U.S.,” a report from Standard & Poor’s issued this week said.
Another recent report from ITG Investment Research, a worldwide financial firm based in New York, found that a detailed analysis of Marcellus well production data suggested that federal government estimates of its reserves “are grossly understated.”
Staff and wire reports Chester County will receive the lowest amount of money among suburban Philadelphia counties from the state as part of the Marcellus Shale Impact fee distribution announced recently by the Corbett administration.
The county is in line to receive $423,255.23 from the state, far less than the $1.29 million that Philadelphia will receive. The highest amount of the four Philadelphia suburbs is the $678,613.66 that Montgomery County will receive.
State law restricts how the money can be spent, allowing for such uses as fixing roads and building or repairing water and sewer infrastructure. County officials could not answer Wednesday where the funds here would go, but said they would be in line with the state’s restrictions.