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.
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.
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.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has rescinded a Marcellus Shale wastewater treatment permit that would have allowed a New Jersey company to spread chemically contaminated salts on roadways, sidewalks and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.
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.
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.
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.
Although plans for a natural gas compressor station in West Wyoming are temporarily on hold, UGI Energy Services still plans to construct a pipeline that will provide UGI Penn Natural Gas customers with gas from Northeastern Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale. "We're moving forward with the pipeline regardless," said Kevin Kelleher, manager of producer services for UGI Energy Services Inc. in Wyomissing. The company plans to run approximately 28 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline from an existing facility in Washington Township, Wyoming County, to connect to a UGI utility line and the Transco interstate pipeline in West Wyoming.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has announced a yearlong study of radiation levels in equipment and wastes associated with oil and gas development it says will be the "most extensive and comprehensive" ever conducted. The regulatory agency announced the study Thursday and said it will test radiation levels at dozens of well pads, wastewater treatment plants and waste disposal facilities statewide.