Pennsylvania Gas Well Blaze Extinguishes Itself

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Greene County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Greene County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A fire that burned for four days at a gas well in rural Greene County went out by itself, but officials said on Sunday they will approach the site very cautiously to stop the gas leaking from two damaged well heads.

For reasons that were still unclear, the methane gas that was pouring from one of the three wells on the pad decreased in volume and the fire extinguished itself about 3 p.m. Saturday, said Bill Zempolich, manager for asset development out of the Moon office of Chevron, which owns the well in Dunkard.

The fire had been going out intermittently, but the gas kept hitting a superheated crane left on the pad and reigniting. Crews at the site used a laser Saturday to determine the crane cooled and shouldn’t re-ignite the gas, said Scott Perry, deputy secretary for the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas Management.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1199417/Pa.-gas-well-blaze-extinguishes-itself

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One Missing, One Hurt In Gas Well Explosion In Greene County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Greene County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Greene County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oil and gas giant Chevron Corp. is flying a disaster team to Western Pennsylvania to tame a fire raging at a well that exploded Tuesday morning in Greene County, injuring one worker and leaving another missing.

Chevron spokesman Trip Oliver said the fire was reported at about 6:45 a.m. at the Lanco 7H well in Dunkard, about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. Oliver said one person is hospitalized and another is unaccounted for.

“Chevron’s primary concern at this point is to contain the fire and ensure the safety of its employees, contractors and the surrounding community,” Oliver said.

Firefighters and other emergency personnel have been unable to go near the burning well since the explosion, because of its size and heat, officials said. State police set up a half-mile perimeter around the well as a precaution. From that distance, the burning well sounded like a jet engine.

Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/5575457-74/dispatcher-county-emergency#ixzz2t3Wbibvr
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Elk County Well To Take Fracking Wastewater

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Elk County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Elk County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seneca Resources Corp. has received federal approval to operate a new drilling wastewater injection well in Elk County, and more of those deep injection wells for the disposal of Marcellus and Utica shale gas drilling wastewater are on tap for Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that it had approved Seneca’s proposal to convert one of its existing vertical gas wells into an injection well that will pump up to 60,000 gallons a day of drilling wastewater and salty brine about 2,400 feet below the surface into the Elk 3 Sandstone formation.

That formation is about 1,700 feet below groundwater aquifers that supply residential water to residents of the area, said Karen Johnson, chief of the EPA Region III groundwater and enforcement branch.

The EPA has permitted 30,000 Class II injection wells for drilling brine and wastewater disposal nationally — about a third of those in Texas — but the Seneca disposal well is just the ninth such well approved in Pennsylvania.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/marcellusshale/2014/02/03/Elk-County-well-to-take-fracking-wastewater/stories/201402030061#ixzz2sHhbe2yX

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Proposed Power Plant On Lancaster County-Maryland Line Would Mean New Gas Pipeline And Water Line In Solanco

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A proposed $675 million natural gas power plant on the Lancaster County-Maryland line would mean a new 9-mile gas pipeline and a 7-mile water line through southern Lancaster County.

Williams, the Tulsa-based company that would build the $80 million 20-inch Rock Springs gas line in Drumore and Fulton townships,  is holding a public workshop to explain the project and receive feedback from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Solanco High School in Quarryville.

There will be detailed aerial maps of the proposed pipeline’s route.

There should be plenty of interest.

Read more:  http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/926945_Proposed-power-plant-on-Lancaster-County-Maryland-line-would-mean-new-gas-pipeline-and-water-line-in-Solanco.html#ixzz2mS0QQABj

U.S. Steel New CEO Expected To Slash More Costs

U.S. Steel

U.S. Steel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The $1.8 billion charge U.S. Steel announced Friday is the first of several moves that industry analysts expect new CEO Mario Longhi will make to revitalize a company that has not had a profitable year since 2008.

Mr. Longhi, who took over Sept. 1 for John P. Surma, has been given a mandate to drastically slash costs and increase efficiency. So far, the former Alcoa executive has been largely silent about how he intends to do that. But analysts expect Mr. Longhi to rip a page from the playbook that most new CEOs rely on by getting the bad news out of the way early in his tenure.

Among the measures analysts expect is shutting at least one of the company’s plants. They cite the glut of current capacity as well as new mills being built that are targeting one of U.S. Steel’s most profitable markets: tubular products used in the oil and gas industry.

“We remain in a structurally over-supplied market,” said analyst Gordon Johnson of Axiom Capital Management in New York City. “Supply is going to continue to grow at an unhealthy clip.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2013/10/22/U-S-Steel-new-CEO-expected-to-slash-more-costs/stories/201310220091

Pipeline Giant Putting Down Roots In Tunkhannock

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wyoming County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wyoming County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TUNKHANNOCK — Two months ago, Helen Humphreys sat in her cluttered Williams Energy field office downtown in this Wyoming County borough surrounded by exhibit displays and stacks of binders.

Outside the room, clerical employees and field workers shuffled around each other in the converted credit union building. Technicians’ gear and road signs were stacked in corners neatly, but obviously out of place in the former bank.

It was not a scene you’d expect for an operator of some of the country’s largest pipeline systems. Williams has grown from six employees in Northeastern Pennsylvania to more than 100 in a 2 1/2 years, and the growth has inspired construction of the company’s new field office on the outskirts of town, said Mike Dickinson, a Williams operations manager.

Humphreys, a strategic outreach coordinator for the company, kicked off a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday to announce Williams’ new 30,000-square-foot field office to be completed by spring 2014.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/711932/Pipeline-giant-putting-down-roots-in-Tunkhannock

Chevron Acquires Kmart Property In Moon Township For Possible Regional Headquarters

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A discount superstore and a large vacant tract of land on a bluff overlooking the Parkway West could become the latest symbols of the region’s growing energy identity.

Global energy giant Chevron has reached agreements to acquire 61 acres of land in Moon, including a Kmart targeted for closing in July, as a potential site for a regional headquarters.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company made the announcement Wednesday, only days after Sears Holdings Corp. confirmed it would be closing the Kmart. It made no mention at the time that the store was closing to make room for the first major global driller to build a regional campus.

In its statement, Chevron said it expects to close on the acquisitions in the next few months. No terms were disclosed. It said a decision on the use of the properties would be made later this year.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/chevron-acquires-kmart-property-in-moon-for-possible-regional-headquarters-685784/#ixzz2S9hTaqc3

Natural Gas Boom Fuels U.S. Office Market

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bloomberg — Leasing demand from natural-gas and other energy companies is helping to bolster the U.S. office market and drive growth in cities such as Pittsburgh, where rents are at their highest in more than a decade.

Greater Pittsburgh, along with Houston and other cities with concentrations of energy-related workers, is outpacing national growth in rents and occupancy, according to a report today from Reis Inc., which showed U.S. office landlords had net gains in leased space for a second year in 2012, following three years of declines.  Tenants in energy, along with technology, helped push the national vacancy rate to a three-year low.

In the fourth quarter, greater Pittsburgh office rents after landlord concessions climbed 1 percent from the previous three months, compared with 0.8 percent for the U.S., while the area’s vacancy rate held at 15.5 percent, below the national average of 17.1 percent, New York-based Reis said. Pittsburgh tenants paid an average of $17.68 a square foot in the fourth quarter, the highest since 2000, ranking it 12th out of 79 markets for growth.  In Houston, effective rents rose 1.7 percent, the fifth-most nationwide.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-energy-office-market-20130107,0,3658617.story

Marcellus Shale Reserves Larger Than Expected

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS re...

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS report showing extent of Marcellus Formation shale (in gray shading). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.”

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/gas-drilling/marcellus-shale-reserves-larger-than-expected-1.1391569

Officials: CO2 Emissions In US Drop Because Of Plentiful Natural Gas

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said the shift away from coal is reason for “cautious optimism” about potential ways to deal with climate change.  He said it demonstrates that “ultimately people follow their wallets” on global warming.

“There’s a very clear lesson here.  What it shows is that if you make a cleaner energy source cheaper, you will displace dirtier sources,” said Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert at the University of Colorado.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/officials-co2-emissions-in-us-drop-because-of-plentiful-natural-gas-1.1359789

PPL’s Brunner Island Coal-Fired Power Plant Here To Stay

All around the country, utilities are shuttering coal-fired power plants or converting them to natural gas, which has become a cheap, plentiful fuel.

But the hulking 51-year-old Brunner Island power plant perched along the Susquehanna River at Lancaster County‘s western boundary will continue to be a major power-producer for years to come, according to its owner, PPL.

“Brunner Island remains an important part of PPL’s future.  The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental improvements at the plant to keep it viable for the long term,” said George Lewis, PPL’s director of corporate communications.

Brunner Island produces enough power to drive 1 million homes.  But keeping it chugging along will buck a national trend and require even more investments in pollution equipment.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/715580_PPL-s-Brunner-Island-coal-fired-power-plant-here-to-stay.html#ixzz23okhy4D9

UGI Energy To Be Part Of $1 Billion Pipeline

Spring Township-based UGI Energy Services Inc. has joined with Inergy Midstream LP and Capitol Energy Ventures Corp. to market and develop a $1 billion natural-gas pipeline known as the commonwealth pipeline.

The proposed 200-mile, 30-inch pipeline is expected to be in service by 2015.

Inergy Midstream, Kansas City, Mo., will build and operate the pipeline and be funded equally by the companies.

UGI Energy Services and Capitol Energy Ventures Corp., a subsidiary of WGL Holdings Inc., Washington D.C., are expected to execute the agreements to become anchor shippers on the line.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=368689