Pennsylvania governor proposes Marcellus shale policy

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett proposed legislation and state policy related to drilling and development of Marcellus shale natural gas, including increasing the gas well setback distance from private water wells and public water systems.

“We are going to do this safely and we’re going to do it right, because energy equals jobs,” Corbett said from Pittsburgh on Oct. 3.

The Marcellus play is Devonian black shale covering an estimated 95,000 sq miles and stretching across several states, including Pennsylvania (OGJ, Aug. 1, 2011, p. 30).

Earlier this year, the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission appointed by Corbett issued 96 recommendations. About one third require legislative changes, and more than 50 can be accomplished within the state agencies.

Corbett said he will soon submit his drilling proposals to the legislative leadership, and he instructed state regulators to recommend policy implementation plans within 30 days.

Specifically, Corbett proposed:

• Increasing the well setback distance from private water wells to 500 ft from the current 200 ft, and to 1,000 ft from public water systems. Increasing the setback distance for wells near streams, rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water to 300 ft from 100 ft.

• Increasing well bonding to $10,000 from $2,000.

• Increasing blanket well bonds up to $250,000 from $25,000.

• Expanding an unconventional gas operator’s “presumed liability” for impairing water quality to 2,500 ft from a gas well (currently 1,000 ft), and extending the duration of presumed liability to 12 months after well completion (currently 6 months).

• Enabling state regulators to take quicker action to revoke or withhold permits for operators who consistently violate rules.

• Doubling penalties for civil violations to $50,000.

• Doubling daily penalties to $2,000/day.

Impact fee adoption

The proposals call for counties, local governments, and state agencies to adopt an impact fee related to Marcellus shale drilling and development.

“Estimates show that this impact fee will bring in about $120 million in the first year, climbing to nearly $200 million within 6 years,” Corbett said.

He outlined a formula on how to split the impact fee revenues among the county, municipalities that host drilling pads, and all municipalities within the county. The distribution formula will be based on population and highway miles.

Part of the fee revenues would be divided among various state agencies, with most of it to be allotted for road, bridge, rail, and other transportation infrastructure maintenance and repair within counties hosting Marcellus gas development.

Under this plan, counties and municipalities may use these funds on various gas development-associated expenses including water, storm water, and sewer system construction and repair.

Corbett’s also proposed to help reduce US reliance on imported oil by developing “Green Corridors” for natural gas vehicles with refueling stations at least every 50 miles and within 2 miles of key highways. He also wants to amend a Clean Vehicles Program and outlines proposals to help schools and mass transit systems convert their fleets to natural gas.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

US Forest Service takes no stance on fracturing in national forest

12/12/2014

The US Forest Service has dropped a proposal that would have banned hydraulic fracturing in the George Washington National Forest.

Southwestern makes $5.4 billion bet on Marcellus

12/12/2014 Southwestern Energy Co. is purchasing Appalachian assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. in a deal that more than doubles its leasehold in the Marcell...

Study links methane contamination in water wells to poor well construction-not fracing-in Marcellus

12/12/2014 A new study found that fugitive gas contamination at eight clusters of water wells in the Marcellus and Barnett shale regions might be linked to we...

Watching Government: Did Maryland go too far?

12/08/2014 Maryland finally proposed a strategy to regulate unconventional natural gas exploration and production on Nov. 25. The question quickly moved from ...

US proved oil, gas reserves continue to climb

12/04/2014 US proved reserves of oil and natural gas have increased by 9% and 10%, respectively, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The 3....

Southwestern continues Marcellus expansion

12/03/2014 Southwestern Energy Co., Houston, has signed an agreement to purchase oil and gas assets, including 46,700 net acres, in northeast Pennsylvania fro...

Outgoing Maryland governor moving ahead on fracing regulations

12/02/2014 Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to propose regulations that would allow hydraulic fracturing in western Maryland provided that natural gas comp...

ANGA president calls for sharper focus on gas transportation issues

11/17/2014 America’s Natural Gas Alliance Pres. Martin J. Durbin called for a stronger focus on transportation as he outlined issues that the US gas industry ...

Bear Head LNG applies for NEB export license

11/07/2014 Bear Head LNG Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. (LNGL), filed an application with Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB)...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected