4/4/2013: Pa. towns to see fewer dollars from Marcellus Shale drilling this year; Spain’s First Fracking Ban Coming to Richest Shale Gas Region

By On April 4, 2013 12:58 pm

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Written by Andrew Gretchko

Pa. towns to see fewer dollars from Marcellus Shale drilling this year – “Although energy companies have drilled more natural gas wells in Pennsylvania, towns will see fewer dollars from them this year. Shale impact fee revenue dropped by 3 percent in 2012, according to state Public Utility Commission figures released Wednesday. Drillers will contribute $198 million to Pennsylvania counties and towns this year, down $6.2 million. The information released Wednesday is only the aggregate figure with the individual amounts to municipalities coming later. Paradoxically, this comes as the number of natural gas wells in Pennsylvania increased by 26 percent, up to nearly 5,500. “It’s not a straightforward calculation, and not many people feel they need to understand it,” said Jon Laughner, director of Beaver County’s Penn State Cooperative Extension PUCoffice and avid shale-watcher. “I’d imagine there’s a sense of disappointment.” The chief culprit in the $6 million drop is the price of natural gas, which has fallen precipitously as Pennsylvania’s production ramps up. Under the state formula, drillers pay less in yearly fees as commodity prices drop, to as low as $40,000 for a new well instead of a high of $60,000. Older wells also pay less as time goes on, with rates dropping as low as $5,000 per well after 15 years. …Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Appalachia tops the list of drillers, owing $27.4 million in impact fees. It’s followed by Range Resources, with $24.8 million; Talisman Energy, with $20.2 million; and Shell subsidiary SWEPI LP, with $17.2 million.”” (Post-Gazette)

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