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Cigar networking event: Great venue, great time!
Our cigar networking event last Wednesday was another fun event at a great new venue, BURN by Rocky Patel on Pittsburgh's North Shore. A big thanks to everyone who participated and especially to our sponsors. Check out a gallery of photos from the event here.
DEP releases annual oil & gas report
The Department of Environmental Protection released its 2018 Oil and Gas Annual Report last week, with the department emphasizing that internal restructuring and continued expansion of electronic tools increased permitting and inspection efficiency while also increasing the overall strength of DEP's oversight, even as unconventional gas production reached a record level in Pennsylvania.

The report notes that DEP personnel completed 36,873 compliance inspections at conventional and unconventional well sites last year, about 585 more than in 2017. The surface activities inspection process moved to tablet computers, making it much more efficient and getting the results to operators and the public faster. All inspections are now done electronically.

The year also brought advancements in permitting. DEP launched an updated Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit, ESCGP-3, in electronic format and provided training to industry on both the new requirements and the electronic application. This surface-activities permit is the second permit to go online, following the subsurface well-drilling e-permit, which rolled out in 2017. Electronic permit applications eliminate DEP data entry, ensure that applications are complete when submitted, and enable operators to pay permit fees online.

In addition, DEP simplified its internal oil and gas permit review structure statewide, grouping personnel into surface and subsurface programs for enhanced communications and teamwork. By the end of the year, average review time for the ESCGP had dropped to 157 days in the southwest and 85 days in the rest of the state. The average time to review well-drilling permit applications shortened to about 39 days statewide. Across DEP permit backlog has been reduced from more than 8,700 in early 2016 to just 635 in June 2019. Inspection efficiency has also improved by approximately 20 percent through the use of portable tablets and other technological improvements.

DEP issued 1,868 unconventional well permits in 2018, about 160 fewer than the previous year. Sustained low commodity prices coupled with longer wellbores contributed to a decline in permit applications. An interactive map shows well drilling locations by county.

Unconventional well operators produced 6.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, an increase of .8 trillion cubic feet over 2017 and the largest volume of natural gas produced in Pennsylvania in a single year.

Through a comprehensive outreach program, DEP assisted operators in achieving a record high 97 percent submission rate for required emergency response plans in 2018, capping several years of effort to increase compliance in this area.

The interactive, multimedia annual report offers several levels of data: the year in review; deeper detail and historical data; and educational overviews of drilling and the regulatory process statewide. For example, users can compare how much gas was produced over the past 10 years, and drill down to see production by individual well.
Water and Waste Management Training
The Environmental Committee is sponsoring the next installment of the PIOGA Technical Seminar Series on Wednesday, August 21, at The Chadwick in Wexford.
The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and will cover these topics applicable to those involved in conventional and unconventional operations alike:
  • How to use water detection equipment
  • Storage options & permitting hurdles
  • Legal updates
  • Best practices for spills and clean-ups
  • Joint Panel - DEP Update, including deputy secretaries from Oil and Gas and Waste, Water, Air & Remediation
  • Water treatment technical Panel
  • UIC wells and technical discussion
  • Tracking and metering equipment
  • Water sharing trends
  • Operator panel

This is always one of our most popular PIOGATech programs. Space is limited, and we encourage you to register now. The registration fee includes breakfast, lunch and continuing education credits.

The Power of PIOGA: How to add value to your membership
Two years ago, we put together a packet of information that we called "What has PIOGA done for you? What can PIOGA do for you?" The packet was mailed to all members and included information about the many things PIOGA is involved with and how companies can add value to their membership by participating in committees, attending events and other means.

We have just finished updating the packet and have refocused it somewhat as a member-recruitment tool to let companies know about the advantages of PIOGA membership. It's now called "The Power of PIOGA - Influence, Information, Ideas: Why Membership Matters." We still think it's still a must-read for members too. You can find an electronic version here on our website.

We encourage you to share the link with prospective members, or provide us with their name and address and we will be happy to mail them a hard copy.

2019 PIOGATech Water & Waste Management Training



The Energy Connection presented by Nationwide Heirship Research. Join us on August 7 at TopGolf to network with other energy companies, industry trade organizations and nonprofits supporting the energy industry. Learn how you can get involved in development opportunities, networking and community engagement that serve to highlight the impact of the energy industry in our region. All the proceeds support Junior Achievement's Careers in Energy program, which educates middle and early high school students about the impact of opportunities in the energy industry. PIOGA is a proud supporter of the JA program, and invites you to stop by our booth and say hello. Just added: Immediately following the event, stick around for a private acoustic performance by Chris "Abby" Abbondanza of The Hillbilly Way on the TopGolf stage, brought to by PIOGA. Find out more and register here.

Still available: PIOGA Centennial knives. 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. The limited edition, collector quality knife and wooden display box feature PIOGA's 100th Anniversary logo. It's a great collector's piece and also makes a unique gift for coworkers, industry colleagues and petroleum history enthusiasts. Order yours now!