The Appalachian Basin Energy Sector Finds its Footing

A few years after a much-publicized oil and gas lease “grab” by landowners, the energy sector born of the Appalachia region’s shale reserves is finally establishing its identity.  The clarification could not have come at a better time.

Bolstered by the commitment of Royal Dutch Shell to build an ethane cracker complex on the banks of the Ohio River in Monaca, Pennsylvania, the shale energy reserves therein are rising up to answer regional demands of the resources.  Notably, natural gas burning power plants are in a state of heightened production as coal burning plants are being phased out.

These developments bode well for Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Upper Ohio Valley was hit hard by the widespread loss of coal-related jobs and the region seeks a new economic base as a result. Correspondingly, maturation and progression of shale energy production and related shale resources and products are key to the process. Clearly, the related matter of safely harvesting shale resources is one of considerable debate and concern.

To be certain, few topics are as polarizing as that of hydraulic fracturing in today’s energy dialogue.

Although technologic advances in hydraulic fracturing have made shale energy production both possible and economically feasible and despite the fact that multiple recent studies reveal that water tables are protected in the fracturing process, some of the findings are inconclusive and require continual analysis.

A recent editorial in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review deemed debate over environmental and health issues related to hydraulic fracturing a necessity and concluded that the “… debate must be honest”.  Read the article in its entirety here.

There is too much at stake for our region, our country, our people and our planet to accept anything less than candid and honest deliberation on this matter.  The Center for Sustainable Shale Development is perfectly poised to host that debate and put best practices into action. The CSSD is committed to instituting best practices in hydraulic fracturing above and beyond any current or proposed criteria. Their aim is furthering the safe production of the energy; a worthy and noble mission.

HBK Energy Advisors encourages informed and meaningful dialogue. To that end, we will host an event designed to provide factual analysis of the process and what can is and should be done to ensure our energy future and our environment. Stay tuned for details about the upcoming seminar and other industry updates.

Please indicate the industry that your company operates in: *

About the Author(s)
Hill, Barth & King LLC has prepared this material for informational purposes only. Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or under any state or local tax law or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the matter.