The American Oil and Gas Reporter - January 2012 - (Page 194)

ConventionSection: Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association PIOGA Rising To Meet Industry Challenges By Del Torkelson WEXFORD, PA.–The theme for the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association’s winter conference says it all: “A larger and stronger PIOGA–facing larger and tougher challenges.” According to PIOGA President Louis D’Amico, the sheer volume of subjects the association plans to discuss during the meeting, scheduled for Feb. 7-8 at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, Pa., offers a summation of the hurdles before the state’s oil and gas industry. The battalion of topics bearing down on Pennsylvania producers includes: • Proceedings in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, including an impact fee associated with shale gas development; • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection clean air standards; • Water management; • Casing and cementing requirements and their relation to gas migration concerns; • Discussions with the DEP regarding the definition of fresh groundwater; • Amendments the DEP is planning for its Chapter 78 Oil and Gas Act regulations; • How regulations crafted for large, unconventional shale operations affect conventional natural gas wells; • The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s pipeline regulations; • PIOGA’s ongoing litigation to protect privately owned minerals in the Allegheny National Forest; • Localities’ efforts to regulate oil and gas through municipal ordinances; and • The outlook for natural gas markets, including prospects for natural gas vehicles, ethane projects planned in the area, interstate pipeline expansion, and commodity price projections. Furthermore, while those policy matters hardly exhaust the supply of issues confronting Pennsylvania’s oil and gas companies, they also cannot ignore matters pertaining to cost and operational efficiencies, technological innovations and workforce development. Such an extensive list presents a vicious circle for PIOGA, D’Amico notes, in which the same conditions that make the association’s efforts so pivotal also make it difficult for members to attend an informative event. In other words, he explains, the greater the challenges PIOGA members face, the less time they have to carve out for an extended conference designed to help them confront those challenges. Between general sessions, social and recreational events, D’Amico notes that PIOGA’s 2011 summer meeting in May covered three days. “We tried to do so much at once,” he remarks. “In today’s environment, it is tough to get away for one day, and getting away for three days can be simply too much. This way, we will have a meeting of two full days in February, and in June we will have a one-day technical seminar preceded by a morning of golf, shooting and entertainment, and an afternoon/evening pig roast.” “PIOGA has been active on a number of fronts with a number of issues that impact the entire industry–not only conventional operations, not only the Marcellus Shale, not only service companies, but everybody,” he adds. “We are going to address a lot of those issues, showing where, why and how we have been involved.” The Country’s Keystone Numerous factors, including Pennsylvania’s status as the focal point of Marcellus activity, its Northeast location, its status as a political swing state, and the strong presence of both vehement antidevelopment groups well as communities eager for economic growth seem to suggest Pennsylvania has become a microcosm of the United States’ debate about energy, the environment and the economy. PIOGA Chairman Gary Slagel, senior adviser, environmental strategies and regulatory affairs for Consol Energy Inc. in Canonsburg, Pa., emphasizes the association is aware that its efforts and those of its members appear to carry implications beyond the commonwealth’s borders. “All eyes are on Pennsylvania. The industry must maintain a path of continuous improvement,” he reflects. “Pennsylvania truly has become the Keystone State as it involves the natural gas industry,” D’Amico reflects. “Although it has a longstanding history of oil and gas development, West Virginia has been watching Pennsylvania closely, and the same is true for Ohio, where excitement has been growing over the Utica Shale.” New Yorkers have been watching as well, he adds, and he says he has taken solace that cooler heads have carried the day among Pennsylvania policymakers instead of the alarmism that has prevented any Marcellus development in New York. “Our politicians are not always among the world’s best, but there was no immediate knee-jerk reaction,” he describes. “Even our former governor recognized the importance of the industry. Even if he had the wrong motive–taxing us–he at least recognized the Marcellus opportunity was a job creator, and so it was important to make a good effort to see it developed.” Association Growth In less than two years, D’Amico notes, PIOGA has added full time personnel in Vice President of Public Outreach Al Catanzarite, Public Outreach Coordinator Stephanie Paluda, and Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Moody, and also has tapped former DEP Deputy Secretary J. Scott Roberts for consultation on environment and regulatory affairs. He credits the new positions for helping PIOGA monitor and act on industry issues as they proliferate. Slagel says the association’s board has been wise to strengthen PIOGA’s team and support D’Amico’s management. “I am extremely pleased with the willingness of the board to support Lou and to give him all the tools he needs to support, promote and defend Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry,” Slagel affirms. “The board recognizes the importance and value of the knowledge and experience Lou and staff bring to the table, and we have been extremely pleased with PIOGA’s performance. The industry has a true leader in Lou D’Amico.” “Having additional staff has helped,” 194 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The American Oil and Gas Reporter - January 2012

The American Oil and Gas Reporter - January 2012
Oil & Gas Counts
State Legislative
Industry Digest
Tech Connections
Washington Watch
Federal Legislation
Gulf of Mexico
Resource Plays Providing Wealth of Opportunities
Tight Plays Poised to Transform U.S. Crude Supply
El Paso Project Optimizes Eagle Ford Completion Design
Real-Time Forward Modeling Improves Bakken Horizontals
Cover Story
Financial Firms Expand Oil and Gas Divisions
Multicomponent 3-D Poised for Growth in Shale Plays
Cloud Computing Driving Business Step Changes
Advanced Attributes Improve 3-D Interpretation
3-D Data Improve Knowledge of Shale Heterogeneity
HBUR RSS Solves Granite Wash Drilling Challenges
Technologies Improve Production Consistency in Resource Plays
SaaS Helps Operator Streamline Data Management
Automation Enhances Operations in Challenging Applications
Dispersant Chemistry Combats Plugging in Low-Gravity Oil Wells
New Technologies Optimize Production
Drilling Regs
The Presidential Papers
Energy Education
Shale Gas
New Lits & Products
Computer Currents
Industry Focus
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index

The American Oil and Gas Reporter - January 2012