Pennsylvania shale drillers produced more than 2 trillion cubic feet of gas in the second half of 2014, setting another record despite low prices that have prompted a cutback in activity, the state reported Tuesday.
Producers pulled more than 4 trillion cubic feet of gas from shale last year, a 30-percent increase from the year before.
Industry groups applauded the numbers while sounding a cautious tone about what they see as threats to development: depressed prices and a proposal by Gov. Tom Wolf to impose two new taxes on sales and production.
“This is a tremendous success story – a story about jobs and opportunity,” said Frank Macchiarola, executive vice president for government affairs at America’s Natural Gas Alliance. “We hope the story continues, and that the next few chapters include sensible tax policy and new infrastructure so that Pennsylvania residents can fully benefit from the commonwealth’s abundant natural gas supplies.”
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Pittsburgh conference examining a possible resurgence of coal markets opened Monday with a dour view of the industry from one of its most controversial leaders.
“We have the absolute destruction of the American coal industry. If you think it’s coming back, you don’t understand the business. Or you’re smoking dope,” Robert E. Murray, CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy, told several hundred industry executives gathered for the Platts 37th Coal Marketing Days.
Murray, whose company has filed four lawsuits against the Obama administration over proposed environmental rules, mixed market predictions with political vitriol, mostly aimed at the White House and climate change.
English: Consol Energy Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the world’s oldest coal companies is selling off the business that gave Consol Energy Inc. its name, giving up five West Virginia mines and its river transport arm in an effort to transform into a growth-oriented gas business.
After weeks of speculation, Cecil-based Consol confirmed it is selling its Consolidation Coal Co. subsidiary to an Ohio mining competitor in a deal that includes $850 million in cash. The company will keep five mines to help supply overseas demand and use the capital it’s freeing up to reinvest in exploration and production of shale gas.
“We’ve kept the jewels for our shareholders,” CEO J. Brett Harvey said. “It’s important for you to understand that.”
Harvey said Consol retained an advantage over drilling competitors by retaining what it considers its best coal assets. The five mines it will hold, including its Pennsylvania operations, can supply both electric and metals makers, allowing it to sell at the best price and get more money to keep growing gas production by 30 percent annually, Consol executives said.