Highlights From SHALE INSIGHT™ 2014

By all accounts, the fourth annual SHALE INSIGHT™ conference was a tremendous success this week. Hosted in Pittsburgh, Pa. for the first time, the event – which drew nearly 2,000 attendees – featured key energy experts, leading executives and other thought-leaders, who focused on a broad range of issues associated with responsible, job-creating shale development.

The conference offered technical breakout sessions and educational workshops (which all sold out) as well as a dedicated innovation showcase center. In addition, SHALE INSIGHT™ hosted a lineup of keynote speakers who highlighted the “transformational” benefits of shale development, which is “carrying the rest of the economy on its shoulders.” Speakers included nationally-syndicated talk show host, Sean Hannity; Fox’s The Five co-host and former White House press secretary, Dana Perino; former New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson; former and current Pa. governors Tom Ridge and Tom Corbett; as well as top industry executives from Chevron, XTO Energy, EQT and MarkWest.

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Here’s what they’re saying about SHALE INSIGHT™:

“TRANSFORMATIONAL” IMPACT FOR OUR ECONOMY

  • Our Regional, National “Economy Needs Energy Development”: If there was a single theme threading the final speeches during the MSC’s conference, it was that economy needs energy development. The idea was central to talks given by Fox News pundit Sean Hannity, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and current Gov. Tom Corbett. … [Gov.] Corbett … also touted the natural gas industry’s growth in Pennsylvania. … Mr. Corbett stressed that he opposes a severance tax on the industry, and pointed to the state’s impact fee, which has generated $630 million for the state. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/26/14)
  • Conference Highlights “Transformational Shale Development”: The MSC on Wednesday kicked off the two-day Shale Insight 2014 conference, which is a forum for industry leaders to share knowledge to improve the development of shale.  … “It’s important to take a step back and recognize how transformational shale gas development has been for this region over the past 10 years and the scale and scope of shale’s potential for generations to come,” [MSC president Dave Spigelmyer] said. According to EIA, Spigelmyer said operators are producing more than 16 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Marcellus Shale … This year, based on mid-year data from DEP, Spigelmyer said operators will produce more than 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Pennsylvania alone, which will amount to about 20 percent of the annual U.S. supply. … “We’re all laser focused on ensuring government policies encourage, rather than discourage, investment into the commonwealth, which is crucial to maximizing local job creation, tax and fee revenues, along with expanded natural gas production and use.”  … Randy Cleveland, president of XTO Energy, spoke about the responsibilities, policies and people needed to keep the industry successful.  “We must continue to focus on our responsibility and highest commitment to operate in a safe and secure manner while being good environmental stewards,” he said. (Butler Eagle, 9/25/14)
  • Economist Steven Moore: Shale is Carrying the Economy on its Shoulders: Stephen Moore believes the U.S. economy would still be in the midst of the Great Recession of 2008-09 if natural gas companies did not advance horizontal drilling and fracking techniques. “How in the world can you be against fracking,” Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation think tank, said Wednesday during the during the Shale Insight 2014 conference. “This is the industry that is, quite literally, carrying the rest of the economy on its shoulders,” he said. “Without these incredible innovations in the energy industry, there would be no economic recovery.” (Wheeling News-Register, 9/25/14)
  • “An Incredible Energy Economy Right Now”: “Without the energy boom in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, there would not be an economic boom,” said Stephen Moore, chief economist of the Heritage Foundation. “This is an incredible energy economy right now.” The MSC-backed conference, now in its fourth year, brings together nearly 2,000 national — and international — industry executives, policymakers and technical experts under one roof to discuss the latest developments and opportunities brought about by shale. … Moore, who previously wrote on the economy and public policy for the Wall Street Journal, said he is bullish on the economy, saying that utility rates are half what they were in 2008, during the economic recession and prior to Barack Obama being elected to his first term. (Beaver County Times, 9/25/14)
  • Economist Credits U.S. Shale with Economic Recovery: The Heritage Foundation’s chief economist Stephen Moore kicked off this year’s Shale Insight conference in Pittsburgh by telling an audience that without advances in the onshore oil and gas industry there would be no economic recovery in the U.S.  … “You can’t get a feel for the kind of recovery we’ve had in this country without understanding what’s happening in the industry you all are involved in … Without these incredible innovations that have happened in the energy industry — there would be no economic recovery. This is an incredibly energy-dependent economy right now.” The U.S. Census Bureau said in March the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector was among the fastest-growing sectors between 2007 and 2012 … Employment across the sector increased by 23% to 903,841 jobs during the five-year period, while revenues jumped by 34% to $555 billion in the same period.  The oil and gas industry alone employed about 192,000 people nationwide, according to the report … The report also said payrolls grew 60% to hit $15.4 billion. (Natural Gas Intelligence, 9/24/14)
  • Allegheny Co. Exec. Rich Fitzgerald: “Shale Key to Pittsburgh’s Renaissance, Resurgence”: This is the fourth annual Insight, and first conducted outside Philadelphia. It is organized by North Fayette Township-based MSC, which supports oil and gas exploration companies and their supply chain partners in Marcellus Shale, the world’s largest natural gas deposit. … Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who helped bring natural gas drilling to Pittsburgh International Airport and Deer Lakes Park, got a charge from the audience when he compared the region’s energy environment to a topic that is electric: the Pirates’ clinching of a playoff berth 10 hours earlier. “The Pirates struggled for 20 years, kind of like Pittsburgh. Well, the Pirates are doing well and so is Pittsburgh. We’re seeing a Pittsburgh renaissance, a Pittsburgh resurgence, and shale gas is a key to that.” (Washington Observer-Reporter, 9/24/14)

SAFE, TIGHTLY-REGULATED DEVELOPMENT

  • Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge: “Look to Energy Security for a Safer Future”: Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge challenged attendees at the MSC’s Shale Insight conference to consider the security of the country’s energy infrastructure. … Real energy security, he said, is being both unreliant on others for this country’s energy needs and keeping the energy infrastructure safe. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 9/25/14)
  • MSC Board Members: This is an Opportunity We Need to Get Right: EQT President and CEO David Porges told the group earlier Thursday that the industry must continue to go above and beyond compliance with state and federal regulations if it hopes to make communities comfortable with the drilling process. … The need to “get it right” was also a theme of Frank Semple, chairman, president and CEO of midstream operator MarkWest Energy Partners. Semple … said the Marcellus region is a game-changer in terms of its production potential. “If the Marcellus were a country, it would be among the top 10 gas producers in the world,” he said, noting that the U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated that the shale strata has 370 trillion cubic feet in remaining resources. With the neighboring Utica Shale strata still in the early stages of development, Semple said the Appalachian Basin is poised for more growth. … “This is an opportunity we simply have to get right,” he said. “We must be good stewards of our environment and be responsive to communities.” (Washington Observer-Reporter, 9/25/14)
  • XTO Energy President Underscores Importance of Operational Transparency: Randy J. Cleveland, president of XTO Energy, the ExxonMobil subsidiary that is the nation’s largest gas producer, encouraged the industry to step up outreach with local communities. “If you look across the country, in areas where we are welcomed vs. areas where we see resistance, local engagement is the common thread,” he said. “Where it’s strong, we thrive. And where it’s weaker, we have difficulty.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/24/14)

A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR OUR REGION, NATION

  • “Panel supports exporting liquefied natural gas”: As to the question of whether exporting liquefied natural gas is a good idea, the answer is yes, it is, according to participants in a panel discussion at the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Shale Insight conference. There is a market for LNG in Japan, said Kazuyuki Onose, senior vice president at Sumitomo Corp. of Americas. He said the Fukushima nuclear disaster has forced the country to rely more heavily on natural gas, which it already is exporting at high prices. And also, it would end a gas pricing system linked to crude oil prices. Exporting would create jobs domestically and boost tax revenues, said Bruce McKay, managing director for federal affairs at Dominion. … Exporting would have a marginal impact on domestic prices, said James Balaschak, a principal with Deloitte LLP’s energy and resource practice. … And overall it’s simply a great opportunity, and one that could help alter the course of other international issues, said Michael Krancer, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and now chair of the energy industry team at Blank Rome. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 9/24/14)
  • Fluid Recovery Services Leads Session On Water Sourcing At Shale Insight: Fluid Recovery Services (FRS) will have a prominent role in the Shale Insight 2014 conference program. The company will sponsor a session on Water Sourcing: An Update on Water Resources Acquisition within the Basin … A Marcellus Shale Coalition conference, Shale Insight 2014 offers participants the opportunity to connect and interact with industry-leading CEOs, elected officials and thought leaders, all of whom play a critical role in crafting the public policy and technical landscape that define shale gas development around the world. (Release, 9/24/14)
  • Chevron Drives, Invests in Continuous Innovation: There are at least three major avenues of innovation at Chevron. There are the traditional research and development centers — the energy giant has four — that still play a large role in moving technology forward. … The California-based company’s venture capital arm has five active funds, and has invested in more than 75 companies to date. Another 35 or so are in its portfolio. From hundreds of annual pitches, Chevron usually picks about five each year. Mr. Anbarci spoke Tuesday at the Marcellus Shale Coaltion’s Shale Insight conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. … He spoke at a technology showcase sponsored by Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center on the first day of the conference held by the MSC. … If there’s one theme for companies looking for the Chevron’s backing today, it’s ideas focused on improving operational performance. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/23/14)
  • XTO Energy President Reinforces Importance of Sound Policy: Sound government policy, a commitment to operating responsibility and an investment in people are key to keeping the momentum of the shale gas boom, said XTO Energy President Randy Cleveland Wednesday at the MSC’s Shale Insight conference. Cleveland said that in terms of policy, Pa. needs to have a tax structure that provides adequate resources to the communities in which it operates. He also said the industry must collaborate with educational institutions to create more opportunities for young people to receive technical training, given a shortage of people who have expertise in areas such as welding and pipe fitting. … “We need to make sure energy development is regulated effectively,” he said. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 9/24/14)

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS SHALE’S POSITIVE BENEFITS

  • SHALE INSIGHT™ 2014 Conference Kicks Off in Pittsburgh: Today marked the beginning of the 2014 Shale Insight Conference, an annual shale development forum hosted by the MSC. The conference offers a venue for energy companies and related businesses to share information on the state of the shale gas industry as well as providing workshops, public affairs training sessions and keynote addresses from industry and government leaders. This year’s big-name guest speakers include Tom Corbett, governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge, former Pa. governor and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bill Richardson, former New Mexico governor and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy and Sean Hannity, talk show host and author, as well as a host of other energy executives and media personalities. Today’s events included discussions on corporate-public relations by Randy Cleveland, President of XTO Energy, a panel on Liquefied Natural Gas exports by representatives from Deloitte LLP, and a panel on groundwater protection by Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (Shale Plays Media, 9/24/14)
  • SHALE INSIGHT™ 2014 “Showcases Pittsburgh’s Role in Energy Economy”: The MSC’s annual Shale Insight conference formally got underway Wednesday morning at Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center. In opening remarks, coalition president David Spigelmyer said the coalition is glad to bring the conference to Pittsburgh — in years past, it has been held in Philadelphia. “We’re thrilled to showcase the city of Pittsburgh,” he said. Conference attendees also were welcomed by Allegheny Co. Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who said the energy industry has helped to drive Pittsburgh’s renaissance. He said the challenge now will be to use the area’s energy resources to attract more manufacturers and to find more ways to use natural gas as a feedstock. Also speaking Wednesday morning was Stephen Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation. Moore said the energy boom is a tribute to American ingenuity and its entrepreneurial spirit. … “This is an incredibly energy-dependent economy right now,” he said. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 9/24/14)
  • MSC Highlights Benefits of the Impact Fee Tax: Shale drillers must overcome image problems and attempts to raise taxes if they want to seize an opportunity to make Pennsylvania a long-term energy hub, executives and analysts said during a gathering in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. … Maintaining success in the nation’s fastest-growing natural gas play requires good tax policies, corporate responsibility and workforce development, Cleveland, the head of the nation’s largest natural gas producer, said earlier in a speech at the annual Shale Insight conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. … “The disinformation and propaganda machine against what you do is frightening,” said Stephen Moore. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 9/24/14)

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