The Business Boom?

When it comes to the Marcellus shale play and the local economy, experts have two things to say: Extracting the natural gas from the massive shale is just the beginning, and this development is going to be around for decades to come. Nearly 500 companies in the 10-county area of southwestern Pennsylvania are involved in the natural gas industry, according to research compiled by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.



Shale lease helps preserve historic Black farm

When she was young and would vacation at her family farm in late summers before heading back to school, Denise Dennis didn't think it was a big deal. She was just "going up country" to visit her grandparents. But, as she later learned, it was, and is, a big deal. Initially purchased by Prince Perkins in 1793, and is the oldest surviving farm founded by free Blacks in the state. It's located approximately 20 miles north of Scranton, Pa. On Feb. 26 Dennis was the guest of honor at the African American History Museum event sponsored by members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.



Transco pipeline to expand to meet demand

Abundant natural gas in Pennsylvania's northern tier counties means growth for the pipelines that take it to market. Energy infrastructure company Williams is planning an expansion of its Transco pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to add capacity for enough natural gas to serve about 2 million homes. The interstate transmission pipeline, constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, supplies natural gas to major Eastern Seaboard markets including New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.



State officials to tap state forest drilling royalties for revenue

State conservation officials plan to tap more revenue from oil and gas drilling royalties and timber sales to start to tackle a backlog of $1 billion in infrastructure repairs in the state-owned parks and forests. Calling his agency's budget proposal for fiscal 2013-14 "fundamentally lean," Richard Allan, secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday about plans to draw additional money from the separate Oil and Gas Fund to undertake larger-scale repair projects as well as pay for increased personnel costs.



Shale Plays a Positive for Railways in the Appalachian Basin

Despite the lower natural gas prices, railroads operating in the Marcellus and Utica shale areas continue to enjoy a productive year. Rail yards are busy transporting shale development supplies such as frac sand, pipe, chemicals and other commodities. In some areas, water is also being transported by rail. In southwestern Pennsylvania and in West Virginia, rail yards have seen an increase of business from 2011.



Shale fees to benefit SW Pennsylvania conservation districts

Five southwestern Pennsylvania counties will receive $272,000 in state grants funded by Marcellus shale drilling fees to promote local conservation efforts.



Free market at odds in debate to export more natural gas

The free market is at odds in the debate to export more of America's vast natural gas resources - energy officials support an expansion of the overseas market but some manufacturing executives object saying it would drive up prices and eliminate jobs. Dow Chemical is leading the effort to convince Congress and the Obama administration to show restraint in approving more than a dozen requests to export natural gas in a liquefied state.



Farmers, Landowners Gather to Kick Around Shale Politics

As of late, the local Grange Hall in this rural corner of Washington County has been a gathering spot for showers, birthday parties and Boy Scouts. But on a recent rainy Wednesday evening, cars and trucks filled the lot and parked along the road in front of the hall as - even if for just one night - the Burgettstown Grange Hall was once again used for its first-intended purpose.



Marcellus Shale funds might pay for bridge project in York

The West Princess Street bridge over the Codorus Creek in York City could be replaced using the money paid to the state by natural gas drillers. It's a county bridge, and the York County Commissioners recently voted to include it on a list of approved projects to be funded through Marcellus Shale Legacy funds.



PA Marcellus topped 2 trillion cubic feet of gas in 2012

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.