Upstream pa conference the marcellus shale has been a game-changer for pennsylvania shaledirectories gas blower will not start


Shale Directory’s recent Upstream PA 2018 conference held in State College focused on the tremendous positive impact that the Marcellus Shale has had on Pennsylvania over the last decade and what to expect for the rest of 2018. Speakers included:

The overall message was positive, with multiple speakers describing the game-changing opportunities in Pennsylvania made possible by shale. As Jude Clemente, principal of JTC Energy Research Associates and a frequent Forbes contributor, said, “Shale has changed everything.”

And indeed it has. Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) president David Spigelmyer explained that there have been over 10,000 unconventional wells drilled in Pennsylvania, with over 8,200 of those now in production. Those wells produced about 5.4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas in 2017 , and the Commonwealth is currently producing more than 15 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas every single day.

Marcellus Drilling News’ Jim Willis shared that Pennsylvania’s top producing counties are Susquehanna, Bradford, Washington, Greene and Lycoming, while Chesapeake Energy, Cabot Oil and Gas, Range Resources, EQT and Southwestern Energy are the Commonwealth’s top producing companies. To give perspective on just how much gas these companies are producing, Cabot’s Director of External Affairs George Stark explained that his company will increase its production from 2 Bcf per day to 3 Bcf every day when the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline comes online later this year!

Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) explained that some of those benefits include an impact fee (a tax on wells drilled) that “no one else in the country has” that “goes back to the local communities where development is happening.” Spigelmyer explained that,

As the above fee distribution breakdown demonstrates, most of that money stays in the counties and municipalities where development occurs, although every county receives some portion of the fee. Impact fee money can be used for everything from infrastructure improvement to emergency services to workforce training as the following charts show:

Seneca Resources’ Rob Boulware explained that for every well drilled, his company spends about “$47 million buying goods and services from businesses in Pennsylvania.” And Stark described how Cabot has paid over $1 billion in royalties to property owners in Susquehanna County, in addition to other investments the company has made in the community.

But, as Rep. Turzai said, it’s not just upstream benefits that have been realized by the Commonwealth. New investments in the state have also occurred thanks to the abundance of natural gas and natural gas liquids in the region, such as the $6 billion Shell cracker plant that, as Rep. Turzai explained, will create roughly 6,000 jobs during construction and 600 permanent jobs. The Shale Crescent region can support five to six more of those facilities, and plans are already in the works for a second facility in Ohio. These facilities will provide a valuable feedstock for plastics manufacturing, presenting another potential economic development opportunity. As Rep. Turzai said,

The increased natural gas-fired electricity being generated in the Northeast is another notable end-use benefit of Marcellus shale development. As Willis discussed, about 21 of the total 32 gigawatts of planned new U.S. electricity generation slated for 2018 will be gas-fired, with about 43 percent of that new natural gas-fired electricity located in the Marcellus-Utica region. This continued increase in natural-gas fired electricity generation has led to the cleanest air the country has seen in decades, as Clemente discussed in his presentation.

Clemente also discussed another important benefit of the shale revolution: low-cost energy. He emphasized to attendees to “never forget how important it is to have low-cost energy,” noting that much of Europe is in a state of energy poverty, where older populations especially are at greater risk because of high energy costs. He explained,

Of course, not everyone in the Northeast has made a connection between the need for low-cost energy and the pipelines needed to make it a reality. Several speakers described the high energy costs that have resulted from policy decisions and blocking important infrastructure projects in New York in particular. Willis explained that when it comes to pipelines,