Pennsylvania’s oil and gas permit activity took a bit of a tumble since last week, but still shows signs of improvement from earlier this month. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas Management approved a total of 58 permits throughout the state.
As the state’s approved permits pile up, so could the Pennsylvania’s tax on natural gas operators. Shale operators throughout the Marcellus region rallied against Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed natural gas severance tax to bolster funding for public schools and other services.
Seventeen executives penned a joint letter to the General Assembly, arguing that the bump “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.”
Top Pennsylvania counties for oil and gas permits:
Top permit recipients in Pennsylvania:
EQT Production Co.: 9
Cabot Oil and Gas Corp.: 6
HillCorp Energy Co., MSL Oil and Gas Corp. and Rice Drilling LLC all received permits for four wells while EOG Resources, Seneca, Range Resources, Exco Resources and Vantage energy each received a single permit.
The total of 23 new permits issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources echoes the previous week’s total of 21 new permits. The newest permits only approve drilling in the Utica Shale, driving the total rig permits up to 2,066.
Ohio lawmakers also grappled with a newly proposed severance tax for the state’s energy industry. The seven-member commission met to discuss the new taxes in an approved two-year budget, albeit 21 days past their Oct. 1 deadline.
Lawmakers will meet several more times before a conclusion is made, though Gov. John Kasich has made it clear he sees the severance tax as a “total and complete rip-off to the people of this state.”
Top Ohio counties for Oil and Gas permits:
Monroe County: 4
Top permit recipients in Ohio:
XTO Energy Inc.: 3
Ascent Resources Utica: 5
Rice Drilling Inc.: 2