Some Welding Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Fetch $120K per Year

money bagIf you’ve been out of school a couple of years and you’ve been trained to weld pipelines–and you’re willing to work long hours in tough conditions–it’s not out of the question that you can earn $120,000 per year, according to speakers at a recent meeting at West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC). Educators recently met at WBNCC to discuss job opportunities in the Marcellus/Utica Shale. The biggest challenge the industry has in attracting hordes of would-be new employees?…
Continue reading

Cuomo Dithers and Towns Like Gerry, NY Pay the Bill

Not only has NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s dithering and refusal to make a decision on whether or not to allow horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the state materially harmed tens of thousands of landowners and farmers in the state (not to mention all of those who would have had high-paying jobs in the industry), it’s also harmed taxpayers in places like Gerry (Chautauqua County), NY. Because Cuomo dithered and Norse Energy went bankrupt, a division of Norse, Norse Pipeline, also went bankrupt because the gas wasn’t available to run through their pipeline in places like Gerry. That pipeline was sold to Emkey and a court has just re-adjusted the assessment of that pipeline’s value–from $2,616,444 to $320,439, causing Gerry to lose $2,305,368 of its tax base. Not only that…
Continue reading

Shell to Hold Info Session on Monaca Ethane Cracker Next Week

All’s we can say is, It’s about time! Shell will hold a pair of public meetings next Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland (Beaver County) PA to discuss their plans for an ethane cracker plant in Monaca with area residents. Yes, no doubt the crazies from outside of the area will show up to gripe and complain, as always happens. No big deal. As of next week it be exactly one year ago that Odebrecht announced their “world scale” ethane cracker for Parkersburg, WV (see WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex). Seems to us that since that time all of the momentum to actually build a cracker plant has been with Odebrecht/WV and that Shell’s PA effort seems to have lost steam. Perhaps Shell is finally stepping up their game once again and getting serious about building a plant, originally announced all the way back in March 2012 (see Shell Announces Location of Ethane Cracker Plant)…
Continue reading

Center Port Transload Facility Already Up & Running in OH

MDN reported last Friday about an auction happening this week in Hannibal, OH at the old Ormet aluminum smelting plant (see Out with Old Ormet Plant, In with New Center Port Transload Facility). Niagara Worldwide is converting the old plant into a new transload facility that will accept and redistribute frac sand, pipes and other materials and equipment used in the Marcellus and Utica Shale. As part of that story we floated some questions to Eric Spirtas, president of Niagara Worldwide about what they have planned (and the timing) for the facility. Here are those questions and his responses…
Continue reading

Dominion Asks FERC to Start Environmental Review of SE Pipeline

Last Friday Dominion officially asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin an environmental review of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline–a 550-mile, $5 billion natural gas pipeline that will run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina to deliver 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas to VA and NC. Here’s Dominion’s statement from Friday…
Continue reading

U.S. Fracking Lowers Gasoline Prices by Nearly $1 per Gallon!

Do you like paying nearly a buck per gallon less for gasoline now over what you were paying a year ago? Yeah, we do too. But little did we know that the primary reason gas prices are so much lower is thanks to fracking! A new report released last week by the American Petroleum Institute (full copy embedded below) shows that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which are now responsible for 48% of all U.S. oil production, shaved up to $0.94 per gallon from fuel prices in 2013. How cool is that?…
Continue reading

Fracking is Feeding Americans by Saving the Family Farm

Natural gas drilling is saving the family farm in Pennsylvania–literally. Farmers who receive bonus and royalty checks are using that money to buy new equipment and continue doing what they love to do–operate the family farm. It would not be a stretch to say that fracking is helping to feed Americans. Take the case of this organic farmer in Washington County, PA…
Continue reading

Big Georgia Engineering Firm Buys Marcellus Engr Firm in SWPA

Bigger companies gobbling up smaller companies is certainly not a new story–even in the Marcellus/Utica region. However, when the bigger company is from outside of the region (Georgia, in this case) and the company being purchased is in our region (Pennsylvania), it bears coverage. Enercon Services, Inc. with headquarters in Atlanta (Kennesaw), GA and 29 offices (with 1,600 employees) nationwide is an engineering services/consulting/land surveying company. They’ve just purchased, for an undisclosed sum, TRI-COUNTY Engineering of New Stanton, PA. New Stanton is located in Westmoreland County, in the southwest region of the state–positioned perfectly for the flurry of Marcellus and Utica drilling in the tri-state region of PA, WV and OH…
Continue reading

Election Day 2014: PA & NY at the Crossroads

MDN has largely stayed out of detailed coverage of tomorrow’s election cycle. For those in New York, we recommend to you the always-excellent Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, a 70,000-member organization that seeks to get drilling moving in the Empire State. The JLCNY has a list of pro-gas candidates that they support here. We can’t point you to a similar list for PA (or WV or OH), although we assume such sources exist. If so, list them below in the comments! However, we do want to share with you a press release from the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) concerning the election of PA’s next governor. Tom Wolf (largely an anti-drilling Democrat) is running against Tom Corbett, the incumbent Republican who is pro-gas. Wolf recently made what we consider to be a lunatic statement–worthy of institutionalization. He said slapping a new 5% severance tax on natural gas production in the state will actually help the drilling industry! How does one even respond to such utter stupidity?…
Continue reading

New Book: The Law of Oil & Gas in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Bar Institute (no…silly, not the drinking kind of bar, the practicing law kind of bar!) recently published the first comprehensive book on oil and gas law in the Keystone State since the Marcellus Shale revolution began less than 10 years ago. The 494-page books is “meticulously researched” by 28 authors (at least one of whom subscribes to MDN) who wrote 21 chapters that span the history of PA’s oil and gas law (did you know the very first oil well drilled in the U.S. was drilled in PA?) to the recent decision by the PA Supreme Court with regard to the Act 13 law that gutted the zoning provisions of the law. It’s all in there. Here’s an overview…
Continue reading