The West Virginia Tax Department has decided they will not assess a property tax value to well pad sites for landowners. Officials were concerned that by assessing a value for a well pad site it would cause the landowner, who may not even own the mineral rights, to be classified in a higher tax bracket. This is good news for West Virginia landowners.
How the decision to not assess well pad sites was made:
Several colleges in northeast Pennsylvania including Keystone College, King’s College, Luzerne County Community College, Misericordia University, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, University of Scranton and Wilkes University belong to, support and form an organization called the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development. In 2008 the Institute published a study comparing economic and demographic changes of three shale plays in three specific areas of three shale plays: the Barnett, the Fayettville and the Marcellus.
The purpose of the original study was to show what may lie ahead in northeast PA should it follow a similar track to the then far more mature shale plays in the South and Southwest. The Institute has just released an update to the original study in a new report titled “A Review of Changes in Selected Economic & Demographic Indicators in Particular Counties in the Barnett, Fayetteville and Marcellus Shale Play” (embedded below). Wow, what a difference four years makes! The Marcellus in many ways has eclipsed the Barnett and Fayettville and continues to grow. But has that growth translated into good things in northeast PA? That’s the question asked and answered in this latest update by the Institute.
Here’s a bit more about what New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said last Friday about the current health review, some comments he made we did not previously see reported:
The TriplePundit blog does a good job of summarizing how fracking technology is getting greener in a post titled, “Is There Really Such A Thing As Green Fracking?” Author RP Siegel runs down the latest alternatives to chemicals being added to water-based fracking, and alternative technologies to water-based fracking.
Here’s a short list of the “green fracking” solutions either commercially available today, or nearly ready:
Pennsylvania manufacturing company K-Fab is expanding with help from the state, providing an additional 50 new manufacturing jobs in Columbia County. The company manufactures equipment for the Marcellus Shale drilling industry. Their plans call for investing $2.4 million in renovations and improvements.
PA Gov. Tom Corbett’s office issued the following announcement about the latest new jobs and economic expansion thanks to the Marcellus Shale:
Drilling may get a bit quieter for some in the Marcellus (and other shale plays) if Principle Energy Services has their way. Principle—with fabrication facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Texas—has just launched a new service to mitigate (reduce) noise in and around drilling sites and compressor plants—so it doesn’t bother the neighbors quite so much.
Here’s the press release from Principle announcing their new service:
Energy & Capital reports that Union Pacific Corp. has done a neat pivot. Coal shipping on the railroad is down, but UP has picked up the slack shipping equipment, sand, chemicals and other items needed for drilling in the Marcellus and other shale plays around the country. Oh, and on the return trip from those destinations, UP hauls crude oil from shale to places like California, Texas and Louisiana for refining.