Pa. moves to limit air emissions from gas industry

Pennsylvania's natural gas compressor stations will have to meet tighter air pollution standards under a mandate from the state environmental agency. The Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday its revised permit for compressor stations requires a 75- to 93-percent reduction in air emissions for the largest, most common types of engines used to power the facilities, which pressurize natural gas taken from the Marcellus Shale formation for movement along pipelines.



State, private data say gas industry creates fraction of state's air pollution

The deep-shale gas industry produced a small fraction of the state's air pollution in 2011, according to newly released state data and private research. Shale gas drilling and processing released less than 10 percent - and for some substances less than a fraction of a percent - of some of the most common air pollutants that came from the state's stationary polluters in 2011, according to an inventory the Department of Environmental Protection tallied. That includes such polluters as coal power plants and steel mills, but not cars and trucks.



Some 'fore,' some against drilling in Pulaski Twp.

Gas industry workers in Pulaski Township in Lawrence County not only drill holes, they're trying to make holes in one. Industry workers have begun frequenting the picturesque, 18-hole Rolling Hills Golf Course on Route 208 in Pulaski, said owner and local resident Richard Kinkela.



NATURAL GAS: The Constitution Pipeline: an answer to New England's price woes or a shale bonanza in the making?

The Constitution Pipeline is expected to jolt forward this spring when a joint venture between Williams Partners LP and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. files with federal regulators for route approval to build from Pennsylvania across New York to deliver natural gas to New England's high-demand market. The $700 million venture, called Constitution Pipeline Co., is seeking to overcome concentrated opposition from environmental groups in New York to bring badly needed gas to New England, which has long dealt with higher power prices because of its relative isolation from domestic energy supplies.



Game Commission OKs gas lease in Washington Co., amends lease in Greene

The state Game Commission said Wednesday it approved an oil and gas agreement with Chesapeake Appalachia for 1,200 acres of land comprising State Game Land 232 in Donegal and Independence townships in Washington County. The commission also announced an amended lease agreement with Chevron for state game lands in Greene County.



Game commission OKs drilling underneath game lands near school

The Pennsylvania Game Commission board Tuesday approved a Texas company's bid to extract oil and natural gas from state game lands in Lawrence County two days after it received a petition bearing nearly 5,000 signatures opposing the move. "The least they should have done is put a 'wait' on this vote," said Volant resident Carrie Hahn, who, along with Suzanne Bobosky-Matteo, has circulated the petition that was submitted to the commission Sunday at its meeting in Harrisburg.



DEP pulls permit, to allow comment

The state Department of Environmental Protection has rescinded a Marcellus Shale wastewater treatment permit that would have allowed a New Jersey company to spread chemically contaminated salts on roadways, sidewalks and fields statewide. The DEP pulled the permit, issued in August to Integrated Water Technologies Inc., after admitting the required public notice about the permit did not accurately describe the permitted activity and the department hadn't fully considered the impact on the environment.



Billions in gas drilling royalties transform lives

Private landowners are reaping billions of dollars in royalties each year from the boom in natural gas drilling, transforming lives and livelihoods even as the windfall provides only a modest boost to the broader economy. In Pennsylvania alone, royalty payments could top $1.2 billion for 2012, according to an Associated Press analysis that looked at state tax information, production records and estimates from the National Association of Royalty Owners. For some landowners, the unexpected royalties have made a big difference.



NiSource to spend $1.5B on pipeline upgrades

The parent of Columbia Gas Transmission said Friday it has won federal approval for a plan to spend $300 million a year through 2017 on improvements to its Appalachian pipeline system. Indiana-based NiSource Inc. said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the plan for Columbia Gas Transmission's lines in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and Kentucky. Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Staton says the $1.5 billion investment will help ensure safer, more reliable pipeline infrastructure for customers and the communities across the region.



Fifteen-year deal to ship ethane via Marcus Hook

A European petrochemical producer has entered into a 15-year agreement to ship Marcellus Shale ethane to Norway from a Sunoco Logistics terminal in Marcus Hook. INEOS Europe, which is based in Switzerland, announced that it has signed a deal with Evergas, a Danish shipping company, to build and operate vessels to transport super-cooled ethane to chemical plants called "crackers" in Europe. Ethane, a derivative of natural gas, is used to manufacture plastics. Sunoco Logistics is modifying a pipeline to deliver ethane and other shale-gas products from western Pennsylvania to the former Sunoco refinery site in Marcus Hook.