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Study: Energy industry could transform state's economy
(The Times) Pennsylvania's population and economic growth are stagnant, but a report published Thursday has a solution: capitalize on the "historic opportunity" presented by the state's natural gas reserves to craft a "new, vibrant and growing" state.

The 22-page report, called Forge the Future, was undertaken by a consortium of businesses across Pennsylvania that banded together to plan how to best capitalize on the burgeoning energy industry in the state. While companies such as Chevron and Peoples Gas helped spearhead the study, other companies including Shell Chemicals and FirstEnergy participated in it, as did several universities, government boards and trade groups. All together, more than 100 organizations participated.

The report didn't mince words when talking about the economic opportunities presented by the natural gas industry. It concluded the state's gross domestic product could increase by $60 billion while 100,000 new jobs could be realized, as well as several billions of dollars in new tax revenues.Despite that, those numbers and projections can only be realized if state policymakers and agencies undertake significant reforms.

Suggestions contained within the study include comprehensive tax reforms, a regulatory environment that fosters growth and innovation, investment in infrastructure upgrades, and streamlined permitting processes for businesses interested in building here.


Industry weighs in on EPA wastewater management study
(Energy In Depth) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a public meeting this week to review preliminary findings and gather further public comments on its Study of Oil and Gas Extraction Wastewater Management, which is slated to be released in the first quarter of 2019. This meeting served as a critical step in the development of the final report, and an opportunity for the oil and gas industry to discuss its needs and creative solutions to address them.

The United States continues to cement its status as the world's leading producer of oil and natural gas. Demand for both is expected to increase over the next few decades and management of produced water is anticipated to be a key issue moving forward. The industry continues to excel at finding innovative solutions to manage produced water and improve upon existing options.

EPA's study seeks to evaluate the best approaches for managing wastewater from onshore conventional and unconventional oil and gas extraction, with the hopes of tailoring any future regulation to the concerns of the public, while maximizing water resources and "continuing to facilitate energy resources critical to our economic growth."

Currently, about 90 percent of produced water across the United States is injected underground in wastewater disposal wells - a method that has proven safe and effective for decades. But injection is not the only method of disposal; In fact, in states like Pennsylvania, nearly all produced water from unconventional operations - 90 percent on average - is recycled and reused in future wells. The implementation of recycling, reuse, and other disposal options may prove beneficial to areas like the Permian Basin that are facing constraints due to insufficient injection well capacity. This sentiment was echoed by many at this week's public hearing.

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Note: PIOGA recently met with EPA officials to provide a Pennsylvania perspective for the agency's wastewater study.
PUC pipeline assessments
In September, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved assessments of its operating costs under Act 127 of 2011 (gas pipeline safety) and Act 155 of 2014 (oversight of competitive electric and natural gas suppliers) for fiscal year 2018-19 as follows:
  • Act 127 - $309 per mile, based on calendar year (CY) 2017 reported applicable miles of 1,713. Last year's assessment was $368 per mile, based on CY 2016 reported applicable miles of 1,638.
  • Act 155 - allocation factor of 0.002149395916 applied to a natural gas supplier's (NGS) total gross intrastate operating revenues for the prior CY reported per 52 Pa. Code ยง 62.110 (relating to NGS annual reporting requirements), plus the minimum annual fee of $350. NGS "brokers" reporting no annual revenues pay only the minimum annual fee of $350.
Attention, conventional producers: Peoples retainage rates update
In the Peoples companies' 2018 Section 1307(f), or "purchased gas costs" (PGC), proceedings, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved - over PIOGA's vigorous, well-grounded objections - minimum retainage rates on producers' deliveries of natural gas from conventional wells of 2 percent for the Peoples Natural Gas Company-Peoples Division system and 2.9 percent for the Peoples Gas (formerly Peoples TWP) system, effective October 1, 2018.

The retainage rate for the Peoples-Equitable Division per PIOGA's Confidential Rate AGS Agreement, also effective October 1, has been reduced from the prior year and is available upon request from Dan Weaver (dan@pioga.org, 724-933-7306, ext. 30), Kevin Moody (kevin@pioga.org, 717-234-8525) or Debbie Oyler (debbie@pioga.org, 724-933-7306, ext. 22).

New PIOGA conference: Expanding Markets for Natural Gas
Join us November 9 at the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh for an interactive conference combining knowledge and experience to help attendees develop long-term strategies to capitalize on the Marcellus phenomenon that will ensure attractive energy costs for industrial and commercial concerns for decades to come.

Spearheaded by PIOGA's Pipeline and Gas Market Development Committee, Marcellus to Manufacturing is for commercial and financial decision makers and those who support them: energy buyers, project managers, engineers, plant managers, legal professionals, tradesmen, economists, business agents, government affairs experts and business development professionals.

In the morning the program will focus on commodity-driven considerations: market dynamics, economic, world view and the advantages of locating in the Appalachian Basin. The second half of the day will examine the criteria for state financial incentives, resources at the economic development level, project cases studies, and lessons learned from from companies involved with project completion. Also available is a welcome reception the evening of November 8. Check the event page for more information and registration.
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Events

11/1/2018
PIOGATech Job Safety

11/8/2018 » 11/9/2018
Marcellus to Manufacturing Conference

11/15/2018
2018 Tax & Accounting Seminar

PIOGA News

  Upcoming PIOGA November events. In addition to the Marcellus to Manufacturing Conference described at left, PIOGA has two other events on tap in the coming month. First is an installment of the PIOGA Technical Seminar Series covering OGTAC 301 - Job Safety Analysis and Train-the-Trainer Course for Job Safety Analysis, sponsored by RETTEW. It takes place November 1 at PIOGA's office in Wexford. Then on November 15 is our Annual Oil & Gas Tax and Accounting Seminar at the RLA Learning and Conference Center in Cranberry Township. Find out more about both in the PIOGA Events section of our website.   

 

PIOGA Centennial Commemorative knife. As part of PIOGA's celebration of 100 years of working together on behalf of Pennsylvania's crude oil and natural gas industry, we commissioned a commemorative knife from W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company in Bradford. The limited edition, collector quality knife and wooden storage box feature PIOGA's 100th Anniversary logo. Click here to learn how to get yours before they're gone.

Read the October issue of The PIOGA Press