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Top 5 stories of the week

Here were the top five marcellus.com stories for the week of Oct. 26-30. Thank you for stopping by and enjoy your Halloween!

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5. Why does firewood cost so much? Fracking’s part of it

Northeasterners who are digging deeper into their pockets to pay for firewood this season can add a new scapegoat to the roster of usual market forces: fracking.

Yep, a timber industry representative in New Hampshire said those hydraulic fracturing well sites in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation to suck natural gas out of the ground are using construction “mats” made of hardwood logs — think of the corduroy roads seen in sepia-toned photographs from the 1800s — to get heavy equipment over mucky ground, wetlands or soft soils.

Read the full story here.


4. Shale executives raise pressure against severance tax in Pa.

Seventeen top executives from some of the largest companies working in the Marcellus shale signed a letter asking legislative leaders in Harrisburg to block Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to raise taxes on the natural gas industry.

“It defies good economic policy to single out a key industry and economic engine by instituting an onerous energy tax that would generate limited additional revenue,” read the letter delivered Thursday to the General Assembly’s six top leaders and Wolf.

Read the full story here.

Image: Robert Galloway via Flickr

3. US rig count steady this week at 787

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. this week remained unchanged at 787.

Houston’s Baker Hughes said Friday that 594 rigs were seeking oil and 193 explored for natural gas. A year ago, with oil prices about double the prices now, 1,595 rigs were active.

Read the full story here.

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2. Range Resources looking to sell assets as low gas prices remain a drag

Range Resources Corp. expects to sell some assets outside the Marcellus shale as it battles low natural gas prices that pummeled its revenue.

“We are continuing to work on potential noncore asset sales for areas in our portfolio that cannot compete against the Marcellus for capital,” CEO Jeff Ventura said Wednesday in announcing third-quarter financial results.

Read the full story here.

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1. All forms of energy are needed for the future

Grace M. Bochenek assumed her post as director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory in October 2014 after spending 25 years at the Department of Defense — most recently as chief technology officer of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

The Dominion Post talked with Bochenek — an engineer by training — about her new role and some of the challenges ahead.

“NETL is a real exciting place,” she said. “It’s always good to be at the heart of what’s important for the nation.”

She wants to bring some new approaches to the table, including a longer term strategic view, she said. Government research organizations are inclined to set their sights on the next budget cycle. She wants to look at long-term technological strategies — a technical roadmap for fossil fuels.

Read the full story here.

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