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October 31, 2012

Shale Boom, Part 4: Meetings on shale-related issues scheduled

NEW CASTLE — Several meetings are planned in Lawrence County to address Marcellus Shale issues.

The meetings address progress, zoning issues and other concerns. The sessions are:

•North Beaver Township — The supervisors will conduct a public hearing at 3:45 p.m. Monday at the municipal building on Mount Jackson Road. Under consideration will be a conditional use request for a natural gas-fired electric generation plant on Edinburg Road. The approval is needed for plans of LS Power of St. Louis to build the plant on the former American Cyanamid property off Route 551.

•The Lawrence County Economic Development Corp. — The agency’s annual meeting at noon Nov. 7 will focus on Marcellus On Main Street, an online directory designed to connect local businesses with the natural gas industry. Reservations must be made with the corporation’s office by email to orrico@lawrencecounty.com. The meeting is open only to the board and members of the organization. It is not open to the public.

•Pulaski Township — The supervisors will conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 at the municipal building on Route 208. Two conditional use requests by Hilcorp Energy Co. for horizontal wells on Route 208 and Valley View Road will be addressed.

•Slippery Rock University — A three-member panel will discuss the ripple effect of Marcellus Shale in the region at a public symposium Nov. 13. The 12:30 p.m. program is part of the university’s school of business ongoing examination of Marcellus Shale development in the region. It will be in the Advanced Technology and Science Hall. It is co-sponsored by SRU’s school of business advisory council.

Previous programs at the university focused on safety and environmental issues concerning gas well drilling.

The upcoming session will examine potential for job growth, both in positions tied to the drilling, and jobs in related areas, including well servicing, resultant pipeline construction and operations, and opportunities in schools, retail and wholesale businesses and general service industries.

Panelists will be Luke Marsh, Marcellus/Utica program leader with the AMEC engineering firm; Russell Huffmyer, lead project manager with Heckmann Corp.; and Amelia Roncone, general manager with the northeast division of Specialty Oilfield Solutions.

Anthony Cialella, vice president for energy services at Advanced Waste Services, will serve as moderator. Cialella is a member of the advisory council.

According to information provided by the university, estimates of recoverable natural gas trapped in the deep shale deposits have been as high as 500 trillion cubic feet. It’s been estimated that up to 211,000 jobs directly and indirectly related to Marcellus Shale will be created in the coming decade as drilling and recovery operations come to the commonwealth.

The drilling process involves standard oil and gas drilling, then adds horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing to release the trapped gas.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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