Posts Tagged ‘Marcellus Shale’

Post-Gazette: State gas production spikes

6-month figures show 60% increase for Marcellus Shale wells
By Laura Olson, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG — Gas production continues to skyrocket in Pennsylvania, with the latest six-month figures showing a 60 percent increase in output for the commonwealth’s Marcellus Shale wells.

The more than 1,600 Marcellus wells currently in production put out a total of 432 billion cubic feet of natural gas in the first six months of the year, according to the figures provided to the state Department of Environmental Protection by drilling companies.

The data is available on the DEP’s website.

Those numbers likely will be scrutinized by state lawmakers as they return this fall, with debate over how to assess a tax or fee on gas production at the top for their fall agenda.

Counties in the state’s northern tier — Bradford, Susquehanna and Tioga — led the pack for most production, followed closely by Greene and Washington.

Those two southwestern counties each produced more than 10 percent of the state total: Greene tallied 51.1 billion cubic feet, and Washington reported 45.9 billion cubic feet.

For Greene and Washington counties, that reflected a boost from the previous six-month period, when both counties had production levels between about 30 billion and 35 billion cubic feet.

It was also a Greene County well that had the highest volume during the reporting period: an EQT Corp. well in Morris produced nearly 3 billion cubic feet of gas.

Combined, the five top counties accounted for more than 80 percent of the gas produced during the first six months of the year.

The total production is up from 271.8 billion cubic feet of gas reported for the state during the final six months of 2010. It’s also more than double the amount of gas produced during the 12 months from July 2009 to June 2010.

“I think what we’re seeing are the kind of production numbers that the report we put out in July projected,” said Kathryn Klaber, Marcellus Shale Coalition president.

“We’re seeing the actual production reflect that strong anticipated growth, and it’s still in the early stages.”

The trade group’s report, released last month, boosted its prior projection for how much gas would be flowing from Pennsylvania wells this year.

Ms. Klaber noted that at the end of 2010, wells were already beating production estimates, and fewer sites than thought were needed to hit those figures. Last year’s average daily production was double what the group had estimated, with 300 fewer wells.

She said that means “a smaller footprint is needed for producing clean-burning energy.”

Penn State geologist Terry Engelder also said the numbers showed promising production levels, particularly in Susquehanna and Bradford counties.

He said those two northern counties are “holding up extraordinarily well” to expectations. According to Mr. Engelder, four wells in Susquehanna County have cumulative produced more than 4 billion cubic feet each.

NOTE: Click HERE to view this story online.


Highlights From New Marcellus Shale Study: “Prolific Marcellus Could Soon Lead US in Natural Gas Production”

Canonsburg, PA – A new study released yesterday sheds light on the robust economic impact that the responsible development of clean-burning, American natural gas continues to have throughout the Commonwealth. Conducted by Penn State University researchers, the analysis underscores how far-reaching, genuine and sustained the growth is associated with Marcellus Shale natural gas production, particularly for Pennsylvania consumers and taxpayers, as well as local small businesses along the supply chain that support the industry. Be sure to visit our Facebook page for photos from yesterday’s event announcing the study’s findings. Following are highlights from the release:


  • “Penn State report even more bullish on Marcellus Shale”: An updated Pennsylvania State University economic study of the Marcellus Shale gas boom is even more bullish than past reports, projecting that Pennsylvania could supply a quarter of the nation’s natural gas by 2020. The industry-sponsored study, which will be released Wednesday, says that Marcellus natural gas production is outpacing predictions made only a year ago. Production from Pennsylvania wells, which already supply more fuel than is consumed in the state, could multiply eightfold by the end of the decade. “Our estimates suggest that in 2020 the Marcellus industry in Pennsylvania could be creating more than $20 billion in value added, generating $2 billion in state and local tax revenues, and supporting more than 250,000 jobs,” said the authors associated with Penn State’s department of energy and mineral engineering. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/20/11)
  • “Marcellus shale added $11.2 billion to economy, report says”: Development of the Marcellus shale added $11.2 billion to the state’s economy last year and may mean a $12.8 billion boost this year, according to an industry-backed study detailed at a U.S. Steel facility in Duquesne. It also supports a growing number of jobs, 140,000 through last year with prospects for another 16,000 this year, according to the Penn State University study commissioned by the Marcellus Shale Coalition. “The Penn State study clearly highlights the impact (of natural gas production),” said coalition president Kathryn Klaber. (McKeesport Daily News, 7/21/11)
  • “Penn State forecasts boom for Marcellus Shale”: Thanks to the Marcellus Shale development, the amount of natural gas produced in Pennsylvania could nearly triple within the next decade, according to an industry-funded report. … The Penn State report saidthe total tax impact from drilling in 2010 was $1.08 billion in state and local taxes and $1.43 billion in federal taxes. In 2010, Marcellus development in Pennsylvania accounted for $11.2 billion in so-called “value added,” according to the report. … During 2010, the industry supported nearly 140,000 jobs in the state, the report said. By 2020, that value-added figure could jump to $20.2 billion per year and the supported jobs could total 256,000 — all to produce more than 17.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/21/11)

New Marcellus Shale Study Featured on Fox News’ Special Report With Bret Baier


  • “Marcellus Shale natural gas production jumps, as job opportunities skyrocket”: At its current rate of increase, the prolific Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania could soon lead the United States in natural gas production while employing hundreds of thousands of people, according to a recent study by Penn State. On Wednesday, PennState released a study by the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences … showing a strong support for the regional economy and a major boost to jobs in the area. (Oil & Gas Journal, 7/20/11)

  • “New industry report says Marcellus production up”: Investment in the Marcellus Shale natural gas field is growing faster than expected in Pennsylvania, with both the number of wells drilled and the amount of gas extracted soaring between 2009 and 2010, according to an industry-sponsored report released Wednesday. Gas production quadrupled during the one-year period. … The report estimates that this year’s production will be more than 2 1/2 times last year’s, and projects steady growth through 2020. … Total Marcellus spending is projected to rise to $12.7 billion this year from $3.2 billion in 2008, according to the report. It also claims robust employment growth, with about 60,000 jobs in 2009 growing to nearly 140,000 last year. The industry projects it will have more than 156,000 employees this year. (Associated Press, 7/20/11)
  • “Growing industry Report spells out economic impact of Marcellus Shale”: By the year 2020, the Marcellus Shale could become the single largest producing gas field in the U.S., supplying one quarter of America’s natural gas. In just five years, the industry drilled 2,300 wells into Pennsylvania’s Marcellus. Estimates are that gas drilling will be a $12.8 billion industry this year, supporting more than 156,000 jobs, generating $1.2 billion in state and local tax revenue and paying about $1.6 billion in leases and royalties, according to an industry report released Wednesday. (Washington Observer-Reporter, 7/21/11)
  • “Shale gas boom for PA, not NY”: An new industry-sponsored report of the economic opportunity from natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania has got to have all the various stakeholders — energy companies, reasonable environmentalists, lease-holders and of course politicians — smiling today. According to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Pennsylvania could lead the nation in natural gas production by 2020. The total economic impact of natural gas drilling from the Marcellus Shale could exceed $12 billion for 2011, the report concludes. “In 2011, Pennsylvania could produce nearly 3.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, making the Commonwealth a net exporter of natural gas right now. This development could support more than 156,000 jobs and generate $12.8 billion in economic activity in Pennsylvania alone. By 2020, according to the study, Marcellus development could support 256,420 jobs,” reports the study. (New York Post, 7/21/11)
  • A study funded by the natural gas drilling industry on Wednesday said Pennsylvania’s economy will get a $12.8 billion boost from drilling this year, more than double the amount from 2009, while reaping nearly 140,000 jobs. … The study, funded by the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition, measured investment and expenditures minus salaries at $4.7 billion in 2009 and $11.1 billion last year, forecasting a rise to $14.5 billion in 2012. (Reuters, 7/20/11)


  • “Study Examines Economic Impact Of Marcellus Shale Industry”: Drilling in the Marcellus Shale is generating tens of thousands of jobs, according to a new Penn State study. … The study estimates 140,000 jobs – directly and indirectly – are dependent on the industry. “These are all jobs that but for the presence of this industry would not exist,” Kathryn Klaber, a spokesperson for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said. (KDKA-TV,7/20/11)
  • The booming natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is benefiting U.S. Steel Corp., which makes line pipe, trucking companies like PGT Trucking Inc. of Monaca that transport it, and a host of other businesses, representatives said on Wednesday. “This is a really good story for a lot of businesses,” said Douglas Matthews, senior vice president of U.S. Steel’s tubular operations. “We’re starting to see an increase in jobs and a relocation of people back to Pennsylvania.” A supply chain of local manufacturers is developing to support the gas industry, Matthews said. … They are examples of a “cascading impact” on the state’s economy since 2009 from the explosion of activity in the Marcellus shale natural gas reserves, said Kathryn Klaber, executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. …Another company that has benefited from the Marcellus shale boom, Dura-Bond Pipe Inc. of Export, plans to build a pipe-coating plant at the site of the former Duquesne steel mill, said Jason Norris, vice president of commercial tubular products. The operation will create about 75 jobs, Norris said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 7/21/11)
  • Marcellus Coalition Executive Director Katie Klaber tells Gas Business Briefing the data show fewer wells being drilled that had been projected, but at a greater cost per well and with more gas, on average, flowing from each hole. … “But if you spend more per well that’s more money to the service companies and other businesses to create jobs.” (Gas Business Briefing, 7/21/11)
  • “As the largest domestic pipe producer in North America, U.S. Steel is well positioned to serve customers who are working to develop shale natural resources,” said Douglas R. Matthews, USS vice president-tubular operations. (McKeesport Daily News, 7/21/11)


  • “Penn. shale gas output to more than double in 2011”: Natural gas production from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale should reach the equivalent of 3.5 billion cubic feet per day this year, more than double 2010’s output, according to new research by a trio of Pennsylvania State University professors. The study, released Wednesday, furtherestimates that production in the state from the deeply-buried rock formation will rise to the equivalent of 6.7 billion cubic feet per day in 2012 and 17.5 bcfe in 2020. That level of production would make the Pennsylvania basin the largest supplier of natural gas in the U.S., able to meet about 25% of the country’s demand, said Kathryn Klaber, who heads the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an oil and gas industry advocacy group. (Dow Jones/MarketWatch, 7/20/11)
  • Fmr. PA DEP sec. John Hanger: “Pa Marcellus Production Numbers Are Humongous! No Ponzi Scheme”: The United States Senate held a hearing yesterday to review the charges made by the disgraced NYT gas reporter that shale gas is a ponzi scheme but meanwhile in the real world Pennsylvania Marcellus gas production will reach in 2011 3.5 billion cubic feet per day or approximately 6 per cent of total US gas supply. At least that is the conclusion of 3 researchers at Penn State University in a report with other eye-popping production numbers that was commissioned by the Marcellus Shale Coalition. … Pennsylvania is on course to produce 1.2 trillion cubic feet this year and clearly will reach annual gas production of 2 trillion cubic feet before 2014, the year that I thought the 2 trillion cubic feet milestone would be achieved. These are real and humongous production numbers. (“Facts of the Day” blog, 7/20/11)
  • “New Numbers Show PA Gas Production Will Lead Nation”: Pennsylvania has become a net exporter of natural gas and could become the nation’s leading gas producer. A report released Wednesday by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, says theirproduction for 2010 was higher than expected. Penn State University researchers conducted the study, which was commissioned by the Coalition. (State Impact/NRP,7/20/11)
  • “Study: Marcellus gas could provide 25% of US supply by 2020”: Advanced well stimulation techniques used in the Marcellus Shale to “dramatically” increase well production have forecasters scrambling to keep up with just how massive levels of production could reach. In July 2009, a Pennsylvania State University study said Marcellus production could reach 4 Bcf/d by 2020. In 2010, an updated version of the study said 13.5 Bcf/d by 2020 was in play. Now, the third rendition of the Penn State study forecast that production could hit 17.5 Bcfe/d in 2020 if gas prices do not drop. (SNL Energy,7/20/11)
  • Pennsylvania is now a net exporter of natural gas, and has the potential to account for 17.5-billion cubic feet of natural gas, per day.  President of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Kathryn Klaber, says that would be one-quarter of the nation’s natural gas production. … Kathryn Klaber says PA’s shale industry has blown its projections out of the water.  “At the beginning of 2010, it was projected that Pennsylvania would be producing a billion cubic feet equivalent  per day by the end of 2010, and we saw that it was double that.” (Radio PA, 7/21/11)
  • “Pennsylvania Gas Output Exceeds Expectations”: The explosive development of the Marcellus Shale gas formation has exceeded expectations and placed Pennsylvania on track to become the second largest producer in the country in the next few years, according to a new Pennsylvania State University analysis. At the end of 2010 there were nearly 1,500 gas wells in Pennsylvania — where most Marcellus activity has been concentrated to date — producing a combined total of nearly 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day. … Klaber’s organization touted the analysis as proof that the shale drilling boom is likely to benefit local economies, particularly in southwestern Pennsylvania. (Energy Intelligence, 7/20/11)
  • “PA soon to be net exporter of natgas: report”: The report’s lead author, Tim Considine, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming, says his projections are conservative. “The wells in Northeast Pennsylvania are tigers,” Considine tells GBB. (Gas Business Briefing, 7/21/11)
  • Pennsylvania Marcellus wells produced an average of 300 million more cubic feet per day of natural gas and petroleum liquids in 2010. … They now estimate the Pennsylvania Marcellus could produce 17.5 billion cubic feet per day by 2020, “which would make the Marcellus the single largest producing gas field in the United States, if real natural gas prices do not fall significantly,” they wrote. … Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber called the study results “dramatic.” She pointed to sections of the report that link the highest Marcellus production areas in the state to lower than average unemployment and higher than average local tax revenues. “Pennsylvania now is producing more natural gas than it’s consuming,” she said. “These findings underscore the longevity, the sustainability of this resource in Pennsylvania for generations to come.” (Citizens Voice, 7/21/11)
  • That 17.5 billion would rank Marcellus Shale as the No. 1 supplier of natural gas in the United States, enough to provide one-fourth of the nation’s natural gas needs. … The report said that, as a result of Marcellus Shale development, natural gas prices in Pennsylvania dropped 12.6 percent in 2010. That decrease resulted in Pennsylvania consumers saving nearly $633 million on utility bills, the report said. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/21/11)
  • The study found that companies paid about $1.85 billion in lease and royalty payments in 2010. That figure is expected to fall this year to about $1.5 billion, and then rise again in 2012. (Associated Press, 7/20/11)
  • The study found that in just five years, the Marcellus has become so profitable that by 2015 Pennsylvania Marcellus drilling could be producing more than 12 billion cubic feet of gas per day, second only to Texas in natural gas production, and transforming Pennsylvania into a major exporter of natural gas. Klaber said the industry is producing more gas with fewer wells and believes it is a direct function of longer laterals giving drillers the ability to reach higher yields. “With those higher yields come higher royalties paid to landowners,” she said. The study forecasts that by 2020 there will be nearly 2,500 wells with an output per day of 17.5 billion cubic feet. If natural gas prices do not fall significantly, the Marcellus will be the single largest producing gas field in the U.S.(Washington Observer-Reporter, 7/21/11)

NOTE: Click HERE to view the study, and HERE for a study fact sheet.


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Marcellus Shale Direct Workforce

The Marcellus Shale Education and Training Center (MSETC) recently released a workforce assessment study to help estimate the direct workforce requirements in the Marcellus shale.
The Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center (MSETC) recently released a study assessing the direct workforce needs required to support Marcellus Shale development in Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2014.  The study expands two prior regional studies published by MSETC and outlines the key occupations associated with natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale Region of Pennsylvania and the number of direct jobs that will be needed to bring a gas well into production between 2011 and 2014. The purpose of the study is to provide individuals, job seekers, communities, businesses, workforce and economic development professionals, and government officials at all levels with the ability to estimate the direct workforce requirements for Marcellus Shale development.
The study reveals that energy companies operating in Pennsylvania are projecting a 60% increase in the number of wells being drilled by 2014 compared to the number of wells drilled in 2011.  The model utilized by the study indicates that each well requires a workforce of approximately 420 individuals working across 150 different occupations.  The resulting impact on Pennsylvania’s job market will be significant.

The total number of direct jobs needed to keep pace with the growth of the industry will range between 18,596 and 30,684.  Of these jobs, 9,800 to 15,900 will be new jobs.  The method of forecasting jobs for this study is based on rig count and wells to be drilled and companies forecasted rig counts in ranges rather than a specific number which subsequently results in job estimates being provided in ranges.

The study also breaks down the growth impact by regions within Pennsylvania.  Job growth in Northeast Pennsylvania (which includes Clinton County), which has already seen tremendous initial growth, is forecasted to grow at a relatively moderate rate.

In the Southwest region the rate of industry growth will be significant as the industry works to build out the infrastructure for gas processing.  With the recent dramatic increase in interest in high-BTU gas and the premium price commanded for liquids-rich natural gas, the Southwest region appears poised for resurgence in shale gas development related to the Marcellus, Utica, and other Upper Devonian Shale formations.

The Northwest region of the state will see an increase in the number of wells drilled.  Growth in the Northwest has been limited so far and growth will initially be concentrated in the southern and eastern boundaries of that region.  There has been no drilling activity in the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania, however there will be an increase in the growth of service industries which support the natural gas industry.

The study points out that the number of Pennsylvanians that make up the natural gas industry workforce in Pennsylvania is also growing.  Since the technologies used in development are relatively new, early stages of development in Pennsylvania relied heavily on out-of-state employees with experience and knowledge developing high-pressure natural gas. Although there is still tremendous variability across energy, service, and support companies associated with natural gas development, the study’s interviews and survey data revealed that the percentage of new industry hires who are Pennsylvania residents now averages between 65-75%.

The direct workforce assessment also looks at difference in production practices related to natural gas liquids versus dry gas, and multi-well pad development versus a single well per well pad. The study indicated, over the short term, processing of natural gas liquids adds about two new employees for every 10 wells drilled.

In both 2010 and 2011 more than 76% of all wells drilled were on multi-well pads up from no wells drilled on multi-well pads in 2007. Multi well pads reduce the overall environmental footprint and increase overall efficiency of well pad development; simply because less surface area needs to be disturbed and fewer well pads need to be constructed to reach the same amount of natural gas.

The assessment focuses solely on the direct workforce needs of the industry and does not include indirect or induced employment impacts. The projections are not intended to serve as a measure of the total employment created by Marcellus Shale natural gas development or to estimate the economic impact of such development. Other recently released workforce studies estimate overall employment and economic impact of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania using “multipliers” to estimate job creation in sectors other than those directly associated with the bringing of a Marcellus well into production (i.e., lodging, food, retail…). This report provides the best estimate currently available of the direct workforce required to bring a Marcellus well into production and should be viewed as a subset of total employment created by Marcellus Shale development.

Funding for this assessment was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).  No industry funding was utilized in the development of this assessment.  The Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center (MSETC) is a cooperative venture between Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania College of Technology.  For a full copy of the report, visit or contact the Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center at (570) 327-4775.

Excerpted  from the Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force ( ) weekly columns


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Investor’s Business Daily editorial: Grow Our Way Out

Energy Policy: A new study documents a mini-boom caused by the development of the Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania, creating jobs and revenue. Maybe the second rule of holes is that when you’re in one, start drilling.

While Washington unravels over hitting the debt ceiling, fretting over a stagnant economy, a shortage of revenues and an abundance of spending, a quiet economic boom is occurring in Pennsylvania that shows much of our economic wounds are self-inflicted.

That developing domestic energy could go a long way toward generating the revenues, jobs and energy we desperately need is shown by the third and final study by researchers at Penn State on the development of the Marcellus Shale and its economic impact on Pennsylvania and the U.S.

“Large-scale development of the Marcellus is reshaping the economic landscape of Pennsylvania,” concluded authors Timothy J. Considine, Robert Watson and Seth Blumsack. They note that in 2010 alone, the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry triggered $11.2 billion in economic activity, generated $1.1 billion in state and local taxes, and supported nearly 140,000 jobs.

Don’t expect the Obama administration to tout the Marcellus experience as an example of American ingenuity and innovation. If it had its way, the Marcellus would be paved over with solar panels and the hillsides dotted with wind turbines, hoping for the sun to shine and the wind to blow.

President Obama once said that energy prices would “necessarily skyrocket” as we were weaned off fossil fuels and forced to use so-called green energy. According to the Penn State study, development of the Marcellus has lowered residential natural gas and electricity bills in the Commonwealth by $245.1 million. Thanks to the 12.6% reduction in natural gas prices due to rising Marcellus output, total energy costs for all Pennsylvania consumers declined by $633 billion in 2010.

The study projects that by 2020, Marcellus development could support 245,000 jobs and generate $20 billion in added value to the Pennsylvania economy.

The success of Marcellus is staggering but not unique. Drilling in the Bakken formation along the North Dakota-Montana border helps explain North Dakota’s unemployment rate of 3.2%, the nation’s lowest.

In one of the few areas where we’re allowed to develop domestic energy, Pennsylvania contains a major portion of the Marcellus Shale Formation that covers 34 million acres in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky. SUNY-Fredonia geologist Gary Lash and colleague Terry Engelder of Penn State estimate that Marcellus holds 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Extrapolate this success nationwide and what it would mean to the economy if restrictions imposed by the Obama administration on drilling offshore and in Alaska were lifted and if a truce was called in the EPA’s war on fossil fuels and CO2.

A recent study done by SAC Corp. at the request of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the Gas Technology Institute and others shows that the U.S. economy will suffer $2.3 trillion in lost opportunity costs over the next two decades, monies that would go a long way toward reining in runaway deficits and creating economic growth.

Out west we may have what could be called a “Persia on the Plains.” A Rand Corp. study says the Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels of crude. But most of it is locked up by federal edict.

Earth to Washington: While you’re figuring ways to stem the tide of red ink you might consider tapping into the black gold and other riches right under your feet.

NOTE: Click HERE to view this editorial online.


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Wheeling News-Register editorial: Don’t Cripple Gas Industry

July 29, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

As usual, the Environmental Protection Agency says a new set of rules will eliminate pollution while saving consumers and industry money. We hope so.

On Thursday, the EPA issued a proposal to regulate air pollution at oil and gas wells. Those using hydraulic fracturing to release gas and oil from rock formations deep underground are of special concern, the agency noted.

Airborne pollution including soot and emissions that cause smog will be eliminated by the rules, according to the EPA. It noted the rules will involve not just drilling sites, but other gas and oil facilities including pipelines.

“The EPA says the rules will save companies about $30 million annually,” The Associated Press reported.

As we reported just a few days ago, air pollution allegedly from drilling sites, compressor stations and other gas industry facilities is of concern to some West Virginians. That very issue was brought up at a hearing on gas industry regulations held earlier this month by state legislators in Wheeling.

And the EPA has heard similar complaints from throughout the country, involving gas drilling in states as far apart as Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

Some new rules indeed may be required to control pollution from well drilling sites and related gas and oil facilities.

But we urge EPA officials to work closely with the gas and oil industries to ensure new rules are not more expensive than necessary. Frankly, as we have commented many times, we believe the agency has been unnecessarily harsh regarding the coal industry.

The Marcellus Shale gas drilling boom has pumped millions of dollars into local economies – and probably billions into our state and others. Tens of thousands of new jobs have been created and more are on the horizon. Economically depressed regions are getting new leases on life.

Perhaps most important, the new supplies of gas being unlocked by drilling into the Marcellus formation are important to the nation as a whole. We need the energy – desperately, some would say. EPA officials, while safeguarding air quality, should not make the mistake of crippling an important industry.

NOTE: Click HERE to view this editorial online.


MSC Statement on Keystone Research Center’s Politically-Timed Attack on Family-Sustaining Jobs

Canonsburg, PA – Today, Marcellus Shale Coalition president and executive director Kathryn Klaber issued the following statement responding to a report issued by the Keystone Research Center calling into question the employment impact associated with responsible shale gas development:

“In the heat of a budget battle in Harrisburg, opponents of responsible natural gas development have launched yet another thinly-veiled, politically-timed attack on an industry that is creating family-sustaining jobs for men and women across the Commonwealth.  But families across Pennsylvania are seeing firsthand the reality of Marcellus development: it is fueling economic growth, employment, and investments in roads and infrastructure at rates not seen in decades.

“According to the Department of Labor and Industry, unemployment in counties with Marcellus development remains below the state average. Along Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, where development is most concentrated, employment has jumped 1,500 percent since the end of 2007. Furthermore, Marcellus operators are investing billions of dollars into Pennsylvania’s economy – from constructing state-of-the-art operating facilities, to building new offices, to leasing land for responsible development and driving economic growth in our rural communities. Take into account the more than $1 billion in taxes generated by Marcellus activity over the past half-decade, stable and affordable energy prices made possible by responsible natural gas development, and the ancillary employment impacts cascading through businesses across the Commonwealth, and only then can the full act of Marcellus development be realized. Once again, the rhetoric of opponents of Pennsylvania’s clean and abundant energy supply is simply not squaring with reality.

“People who were out of work and now have jobs thanks to Marcellus development are more than statistics, and they are proud that they now have jobs. Attempting to trivialize their new employment opportunities simply to fulfill a political agenda not only denies the real economic benefits from Marcellus, but also demeans the very people who are employed.”

The economic impact of responsible shale gas development is being felt in every corner of the commonwealth:

Family Sustaining Wages

  • “The average wage in the core industries was $73,150, which was about $27,400 greater than the average for all industries.” (Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, June 2011)
  • “The average wage in the ancillary industries was $61,871, which was more than $16,100 greater than the average for all industries.” (ibid)

Employment Impact

  • “Areas with significant Marcellus Shale drilling activity have seen notable decreases in unemployment rates.” (ibid)
  • “The Northern Tier Workforce Investment Areas (WIA) experienced an increase of employment growth of over 1,500%.” (ibid)
  • “The Central WIA was second in terms of employment growth by volume and by percentage with an employment increase of almost 1,000%.” (ibid)
  • “Significant employment gains were seen in each WIA that had substantial Marcellus Shale drilling activity.” (ibid)

Infrastructure Investment

  • “Marcellus shale drillers spent $411 million in the past three years to help rebuild Pennsylvania roads…” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 21, 2011)
  • “Since 2008, approximately 21% of the payments have been made toward local roads, while approximately 79% went toward improving roads maintained by the state.” (MSC press release, June 21, 2011)

Tax Revenue Generated by Responsible Marcellus Development

  • “Drilling Industry Paid More Than $1 Billion in State Taxes Since 2006, Tax Payments in First Quarter of 2011 Already Surpass 2010 Totals” (Dept. of Revenue press release, May, 2, 2011)
  • “The Revenue Department’s analysis, which breaks out tax payments from oil and gas companies and their affiliates through April 2011, indicates that 857 of these companies have already paid $238.4 million in capital stock/foreign franchise tax, corporate net income tax, sales/use tax and employer withholding to the state in 2011. These figures from the first quarter of this year already exceed by nearly $20 million the total tax payments made in all of 2010.” (ibid)
  • “The data indicate that counties with 150 or more Marcellus wells experienced an 11.36 percent increase in state sales tax collections between 2007 and 2010.” (Penn State University, February 27, 2011)
  • “In counties with ten or more Marcellus wells, returns reporting royalty income increased 44.1 percent and tax income increased 325.3 percent.” (ibid)


  • Study: Marcellus Shale helping region’s economy: “Many areas of Pennsylvania, including the Pittsburgh metro area, are benefitting from the Marcellus Shale drilling activity. That certainly is giving Pennsylvania a boost relative to the rest of the country in terms of employment and gross economic output.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 21, 2011)

Posted At: Marcellus Shale


What They’re Saying: Shale Gas Development Moving Country Toward Cleaner Energy Future, Diminishing the Middle East’s Strategic Importance

New York Times Columnist Joe Nocera: “The country has been handed an incredible gift with the Marcellus Shale. With an estimated 500 trillion cubic feet of reserves, it is widely believed to be the second-largest natural gas field ever discovered. Which means that those of you who live near this tremendous resource have two choices. You can play the Not-In-My-Backyard card, employing environmental scare tactics to fight attempts to drill for that gas. Or you can embrace the idea that America needs the Marcellus Shale, accept the inconvenience that the drilling will bring, but insist that it be done properly. If you choose this latter path, you will be helping to move the country to a fuel that is — yes — cleaner than oil, while diminishing the strategic importance of the Middle East, where American soldiers continue to die. (New York Times, 4/15/11)

“Local Economy Could Benefit From Utica Shale Leasing”: Ohioans are rediscovering oil and natural gas in their own backyards, because of the potential of the Utica Shale deposits thousands of feet below the surface. And Coshocton and surrounding counties are primed for the pumping. Energy companies are looking to lease land to expand west out of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale and into Ohio’s Utica Shale play. … “It’s a game-changer for the economy here,” [Jack Sordoni, president of Homeland Energy Ventures] said, due to the potential for six-figure bonus payments and annual royalties. (Coshocton Tribune, 4/17/11)

NY Congressman Tom Reed: “New York – and America – Can Profit From Marcellus Shale”: Responsible development of the Marcellus Shale natural gas field has tremendous potential to help meet both of these challenges, and many, many more. In 2009, the production of Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania had an economic output of more than $3.8 billion, and generated more than $400 million in state and local tax revenues, while creating 48,000 new jobs. There is no reason to believe that we wouldn’t see a similar positive effect in New York. We need this economic development. The 2010 census numbers released recently were, unfortunately, no surprise. Western New York and the southern tier of New York experienced concentrated levels of population decline. … Penn State recently determined that counties in Pennsylvania where Marcellus development has taken place saw, on average, an 11 percent growth in sales tax revenue. Our local governments could derive much needed revenue from Marcellus Shale production. (Washington Examiner, 4/14/11)

“Ohio’s Shale Deposits Hold Potential For Oil, Gas Jobs”: Thousands of feet below the surface of Ohio, encased inside a rock formation millions of years old, is a veritable ocean of oil and natural gas that could be worth billions of dollars and create thousands of jobs. … Eventually, drilling jobs could be created in eastern Ohio, where unemployment rates are much higher than the state and national averages. Some landowners there already have benefited, getting thousands of dollars per acre from mineral extractors competing over increasingly fewer tracts. … Pennsylvania and West Virginia both enjoyed a natural gas boom in recent years spawned from the Marcellus Shale, which sits a thousand feet or so above the Utica and has only a small presence in the extreme east of Ohio. … A Penn State University report, updated last year, on the economic effect of the Marcellus projects expects 111,000 total jobs to be created this year alone. More than $10 billion will be added to the Pennsylvania economy through extraction from the Marcellus, according to the report. (Zanesville Times Recorder, 4/17/11)

“Marcellus Among Reasons Pittsburgh Moves up 48 Slots on Small Business Vitality Rankings”: Credit the Marcellus gas exploration boom for keeping Judy Wojanis smiling these days. The emerging gas industry is fueling double-digit sales growth at Wojanis Hydraulic Supply Co. Inc., a Coraopolis-based supplier of pneumatic and fluid power equipment, said Wojanis, company president. And the company has been hiring, too. Wojanis Hydraulic employs 18 people, three of whom were added in the past year. “There’s been a boom during the last two years,” Wojanis said. “We’re very happy about it.” (Pittsburgh Business Times, 4/15/11)

“Unprecedented Economic Impacts of Shale Gas Development”: Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for Range Resources in Cecil, said that’s an example of the “unprecedented economic impacts of shale gas development” in the state. He noted an uptick this year in weekly wages in Washington County and an almost 50 percent increase in the number of Pennsylvania mining and logging industry jobs from 2007 to 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Tribune-Review, 4/17/11)

Marcellus Shale Development and Production Overview

Eight hour intensive training overview of natural gas production, principles, practices, and standards.

New Study Outlines Pennsylvania’s Clean Transportation Roadmap

Natural Gas Vehicles: A Clear, Cleaner, Cost-Effective Alternative

Canonsburg, PA – While it is widely known that the Marcellus Shale’s abundant, clean-burning natural gas resources represent one of the world’s largest energy reserves, a new study — Roadmap for Pennsylvania Jobs, Energy Security and Clean Air — examines one of the many long-term benefits associated with the responsible development of the Marcellus, in both the natural gas and transportation sectors.

The Roadmap provides a common sense, workable pathway to achieve a host of benefits, such as lower-cost fuel, more robust job creation, expanded energy security, and a cleaner environment for the region and nation. Specifically, the study — sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) — focuses on expanding Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs), which has the potential to provide Pennsylvania with a unique opportunity to achieve a more economically and environmentally sustainable future.

“Leveraging our region’s clean-burning, job-creating resources from the Marcellus Shale, through smarter technologies, will generate huge economic and environmental benefits for Pennsylvania businesses, consumers, and public transportation systems,” said Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the MSC.

Added Klaber: “More effectively using American natural gas as a transportation fuel offers a clear, clean and cost-effective alternative to address air quality challenges, while providing a reliable, homegrown energy source to fuel economic growth. New sources of domestic energy, specifically shale gas, provides this region and our nation with a transformative opportunity. As shown in The Roadmap, the transportation sector will certainly be a part of that transformation.”

MSC members Chesapeake Energy Corporation, EQT Production Company, Range Resources, and UGI Energy Services co-sponsored the study.

“Natural gas continues to prove it will play a significant and necessary role in the Commonwealth’s – and the nation’s – clean-energy future,” noted Barbara Sexton, Director of Governmental Affairs for Chesapeake Energy Corporation.  “This Roadmap is a definitive guide for creating a profitable, sustainable and growing market for vehicles powered by natural gas.”

“This project is an important and effective first step toward achieving energy security for our country and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said David Ross EQT’s Director of Technical Marketing and Business Development. “The cost savings and environmental benefits of transitioning to NGV’s illustrated in the report underscore the importance of natural gas to this country’s energy future.”

Dan Cotherman, Manager of Business Development for Range Resources, noted, “Pennsylvania consumers have a significant stake in the future of clean-burning, abundant natural gas, and Range Resources supports this Roadmap to expand and enhance the use of this resource. Developing forward-thinking and innovative uses of natural gas in this way will further secure our energy future and solidify benefits for the entire Commonwealth.”

“UGI Utilities, Inc. supports the MSC’s Roadmap for Pennsylvania Jobs, Energy Security and Clean Air report which provides key recommendations for the transportation sector to transition to a cleaner transportation future,” said Anthony Cox, Director of Marketing for UGI Utilities, Inc. “Reducing our reliance on one fuel source with a lower cost, lower emitting, Pennsylvania produced-alternative, will create jobs and further stimulate our region’s economy.”

The Roadmap, available online HERE, projects a more than $200 million investment in the Commonwealth’s economy while yielding other benefits, including:

  • A reduction in annual fuel costs for Pennsylvania fleet operators of $9.2 million – savings that can then be reinvested into their businesses, personnel hiring, and the overall Pennsylvania economy.
  • A direct impact on more than 1,300 Pennsylvania jobs.
  • A reduction of nitrogren oxides (NOx) emissions by 702 tons, particulate matter (PM) emissions by 14.5 tons, and greenhouse gas emissions by 21,000 metric tons each year.

An overview of The Roadmap is available HERE.

By The Numbers: The Mighty Marcellus, A Powerful Job Creation Engine

Federal Economic Data Makes Clear the Marcellus Shale’s Positive Impact Across the Commonwealth

Canonsburg, Pa. –  The Mighty Marcellus Shale – the world’s second largest natural gas field – continues to be a driving economic force in the Commonwealth, helping to create jobs for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians, revitalizing rural economies, generating millions in tax revenue, bolstering small business and manufacturing growth and creating opportunities for a host of other industries across the region. Because of the ‘enormous’ benefits associated with clean-burning, American natural gas – as President Obama said in a recent speech – an American Renewal is underway in the region.

And while tens of thousands of good-paying, Pennsylvania jobs, tied directly to responsible Marcellus Shale development, have been created – upwards of 212,000 jobs over the coming years, according to Penn State University experts – data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an arm of the Labor Department and the “the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics,” clearly demonstrates this connection.

What follows is an overview of BLS economic data – specific to “Natural Resources and Mining” jobs [direct natural gas production-related employment is accounted here] – from 2009 to 2010 in key Marcellus Shale producing counties across the Commonwealth, as well as the number of Marcellus wells drilled in each county during that same time period. Of important note, 1,224 construction-related jobs were created in these Marcellus-producing counties during the same period, according to BLS data. This uptick in construction-related employment is attributable to the robust supply chain supporting Marcellus development.

COUNTY Marcellus Wells Drilled,    Sep’09-Sep’10
(Source: PADEP)
12 month percent change in average [Marcellus] weekly wage,
12 month percent change in [direct Marcellus] employment,
12 month change in [direct Marcelus] employment,
Bradford 376 105.8% 203.5% 633
Tioga 290 139.6% 66% 70
Washington 182 5.3% 34.5% 442
Lycoming 101 13.7% 106.6% 305
Susquehanna 99 52.3% 72.6% 313
Westmoreland 53 16.5% 21.6% 149
Centre 41 71.3% 115.6% 245
Fayette 37 31.2% 65% 367
Sullivan 9 271.2% 446.2% 58