Pennsylvania sweats fracking slowdown

Imagine, Pennsylvania, if the greens get their way.

The Scranton Times-Tribune reports:

Vince Arena has a commanding view of Route 6 from Moore’s Auto Showroom. Since 2006, he has seen the traffic on the two-lane road swell with the region’s gas boom until it is bumper-to-bumper, light-to-light for miles just about all day.

Every few seconds, a tractor-trailer hauling water or massive pumps to or from drill sites rumbles past. For the last few weeks, however, Mr. Arena has been able to pull out from his lot without relying on the kindness of other motorists to let him out.

In January, one of the region’s largest gas drillers, Chesapeake Energy Corp., announced it would reduce its rig count in the region. Its rig count will go from 75 to 24, drilling fewer new wells and reducing the flow from existing wells. Other companies made similar announcements.

Bradford County has already seen active rigs decline from 27 to 20 as of Feb. 10 as rock-bottom natural-gas prices prodded the company to drive for more lucrative fuels from the earth, such as “wet gas” from western Pennsylvania or oil from other parts of the country, according to Houston, Texas-based Baker Hughes.

Chesapeake’s announcement suggested the natural gas rush has decelerated.

“As soon as the announcement came out, you could see the traffic lighten up,” said Mr. Arena, who was wearing a Chesapeake Energy cap.

Economic activity is tied closely to rig count, said Anthony J. Ventello, executive director of the Progress Authority, which handles economic development for Bradford and Susquehanna counties.

“As goes the rig count, so goes the economy,” Mr. Ventello said, noting that a rig has an economic impact not unlike that of an itinerant factory. “As an industry, natural gas is not going away, but we are in a slowdown that will have an effect on the economy”…

Read the entire report.

3 thoughts on “Pennsylvania sweats fracking slowdown”

  1. At $2.69 per million BTU, that is only $0.34 for the amount of energy in one gallon of gasoline!

    Hopefully a lot of conversion plants will spring up to give us dollar a gallon gas again! That would be a recipe for prosperity (and would drive the greenies mad)!


  2. Why not allow us to export natural gas? A no-brainer is to convert electricity production in Hawaii to natural gas using LNG. This would allow the residential price of electricity to be cut in half or more. Last November it was 36.6 cents per kw-hr.

    We could sell LNG to Europe or Asia at twice the price here because they are paying four times what we pay. Our gas companies could make a killing; makes lots of money and pay it back to our citizens as dividends.

    James H. Rust

  3. I work in a shale gas play in Texas. The problem is that we have been too successful, we are producing too much gas, driving the price down. OK, the downturn in consumption with the weak economy is a factor, too.

    But the EPA may come to our rescue (despite their attempt to stop hydraulic fracture stimulation, aka fracing). With the coal-fired electricity plants shut down by their increasing regulation, natural gas is the obvious alternative, which should help reduce the gas glut, and push prices up.

    Go, EPA! No, I mean go, as in go away.

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