File photo. A Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site in Bradford County, Pa.
Join StateImpact Pennsylvania for an educational forum to learn how other states handle natural gas royalty payments and what’s being done about the controversy over post-production costs in Pennsylvania. The forum is titled, Drilling down on deductions: How are gas royalties paid around the U.S.?
Keynote speaker and royalty expert Owen L. Anderson, a professor and distinguished oil and gas scholar at the University of Texas, has lectured at numerous universities and venues on six continents and throughout the United States, and has written over 100 articles.
Anderson’s keynote presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on post-production costs and a question-and-answer session with the audience.
Other panelists are: Jackie Root, head of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners; and David Fine, an attorney with K&L Gates in Harrisburg who represented Elexco Land Services and Southwestern Energy in the landmark 2010 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, which held that Pennsylvania’s minimum royalty guarantee applies to revenues before expenses are calculated.
The event, at Towanda Area High School, is free and open to the public. RSVP here:
Republican state Sen. Ryan Aument said the administration’s plan addressed real issues, including the issue of whether power plants should have a 90-day supply of power on-site. Only coal and nuclear plants can do that.
“I’ve been very supportive of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania during the time that I’ve been in the General Assembly,” Aument said. “But I’m not rooting for the success of one industry over the other.”
It “kind of sounds that way,” Smart Talk host Scott LaMar said.
“I haven’t,” Aument responded. “But I’m not rooting for the failure … of the nuclear energy industry. ”
Later in the program, LaMar welcomed Carl Marrara, vice president of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, and a member of Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts Coalition, who recalled Aument’s comments about pitting one industry against another.
The manufacturing association, he said, is “not rooting against a nuclear industry or a specific nuclear plant to fail in any way. We are for all energy. We are for energy infrastructure. We spend a lot of our time advocating on behalf of pro production, pro energy. We are in favor of every megawatt hour, every rivet of infrastructure that can bolster Pennsylvania’s energy economy, because what that means for manufacturers is competitiveness.”
The conversation included Meyer asking Phillips how significant a delay the work stoppage could be for Sunoco, which has said it intends to meet all of the requirements listed by the Department of Environmental Protection so the company can be authorized to resume work under DEP’s permits. Work that isn’t covered by those permits is allowed to go on.
Phillips’ answer: ”I’ve asked Sunoco what does it mean for the pipeline’s production schedule. The pipeline itself has been plagued by lots of problems and lots of delays. This seems to be a significant delay. During the last earnings call in December, Sunoco said the pipeline was gonna be up and running by the spring of 2018. And I don’t know if this work stoppage will have an impact on that or not, given that the cold weather may have had them stop work anyway. I really don’t know. So, I haven’t heard back from Sunoco on whether or not this means further delays on when this pipeline will actually come online.”
Anything fracking-related is likely to turn heads in Pennsylvania. But the regulations in question had to do with fracking on federally owned land. Because of that, Trump’s action isn’t expected to significantly affect Pennsylvania, which had fewer than 10,000 acres of federal land with oil and gas leases as of fiscal year 2016, according to the Bureau of Land Management
The Washington Post reported that the repealed regulations “would have tightened standards for well construction and wastewater management, required the disclosure of the chemicals contained in fracking fluids, and probably driven up the cost for many fracking activities.”
A drilling rig in Tioga State Forest. The Supreme Court ruled in June that all proceeds from oil and gas drilling on state land needs to be spent on environmental conservation. The court based its ruling on the state's Environmental Rights Amendment.
An environmental lawyer wants the state Supreme Court to direct Commonwealth Court to follow its order in a case centered on whether Pennsylvania must use oil and gas lease proceeds from drilling on state forest land only for environmental conservation.
John E. Childe of Camp Hill made that claim in a lawsuit against the state, but Commonwealth Court had ruled against the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation. Childe says in a new filing that when the Supreme Court on June 20 decided that the state was a trustee for public resources, it vacated the Commonwealth Court’s decision and sent the case back for “further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.”
Childe’s filing claims nothing has happened, and he is asking the Supreme Court to step in.