According to speakers at today’s Marcellus Midstream Conference and Exhibition in Pittsburgh, infrastructure will be play a key role, and if not ramped up quickly, may create problems for drillers in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale.
“The opportunity for Marcellus Shale production growth can be overwhelmed by a lack of infrastructure,” said Scott Soler, managing director of Houston-based private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners.
Soler said an estimated $10 billion must be spent on pipelines, processing and storage facilities within five years to keep up with projected production.*
Bentek Energy, also presenting at the conference, said the industry has announced or already begun more than 30 pipeline projects, including new pipelines or expansion of existing pipelines.
MDN recently reported on new processing, fractionation and storage facilities announced by both Dominion and MarkWest. Infrastructure will play a key role in drilling in the Marcellus for years to come.
*Pittsburg Tribune-Review (Apr 21) – Marcellus Shale infrastructure inadequate, energy exec says
To address concerns of area residents, Encana is paying for a baseline water study to be performed for any household up to one mile away from a proposed natural gas well Encana will start drilling in Luzerne County, PA this year:
EnCana is attempting to establish a baseline for water quality and quantity conditions by requesting property owners participate in a water sampling assessment, which will be collected by Rettew Associates, a third-party environmental-testing firm based in Lancaster.
Letters were mailed April 8 to landowners located within a mile radius of the well covering Lake and Lehman townships, and Harveys Lake borough.*
Encana spoke to area residents at a recent meeting in the Lehman Township fire hall to describe the testing procedure and their desire to, “Take every safeguard to not impact your water.”
*Wikes-Barre Times-Leader (Apr 21) – Residents worry about gas drillers contaminating water
Depending on your viewpoint, one of the benefits (or drawbacks) of an increase in drilling activity is the rise in rental prices for apartments and houses. The borough of Wellsboro in Tioga County, PA (population about 3,300) is experiencing a real estate boom due to drilling. Prices for apartments around Wellsboro have doubled:
[Real Estate Agent Victoria] Costanzo says the average rental rate in Wellsboro use to range between $400 to $600 a month. But now with the natural gas companies moving their employees into local areas, they are willing to pay more and rents have doubled.
The Wellsboro Mayor [Jim Daugherty] says people, who originally were going to sell their homes, are now opting to rent or lease their properties for higher prices.*
Office space and garages to store equipment are also in high demand, and two area hotels have been sold to drilling companies to house workers.
*WETM Channel 18 TV (Apr 21) – Rent Prices on Rise in Wellsboro