Marcellus Shale Development Continues in PA After Natural Fuel Gas Company Reworks Pact

National Fuel Gas Company logoMarcellus Shale natural gas will continue to be developed in Pennsylvania after Natural Fuel Gas Company announced that a pact with a Texas company has been reworked.

The announcement was made on Monday, June 13th. Marcellus Shale natural gas development will proceed in the north-central Pennsylvania counties of McKean, Elk, and Cameron. The pact is between Dallas affiliate IOG CRV – Marcellus LLC and Seneca Resources Corp. Seneca Resources Corp. is the production and exploration subsidiary of National Fuel (NYSE: NFG), which is based out of Williamsville.

In a news release, the companies stated that an agreement was reached in regards to an amended extension of the joint development agreement the companies have for assets in McKean, Elk, and Cameron counties. So far, 39 joint development Marcellus Shale wells were completed and went to sales or were drilled and are nearing completion. There are a total of 75 joint development Marcellus Shale wells, so 36 will be developed under the amended agreement. In addition, IOG was given the option to partake in a 7-well Marcellus pad to be completed before December 31st, 2017. If IOG opts to take part in the 7-well Marcellus pad, there would be a total of 82 wells under the joint development agreement.

Presently, IOG has an 80% working interest in the joint development wells. The other 20% working interest is held by program operator Seneca. The contract’s royalty structure has also been amended.

The President and CEO of National Fuel Gas Company, Ronald Tanski, issued the following statement regarding the deal, “For National Fuel, it allows us to leverage the competitive advantage of our low cost, fee acreage in the Marcellus and reduce the level of capital investment in our upstream business over the next two years, while maintaining operational efficiencies and providing the throughput necessary to support our pipeline expansion projects. Given National Fuel’s large Appalachian footprint and the alignment of our strategic goals, we think there could be additional opportunities to work with IOG in the future to accelerate value creation for our shareholders.”

On June 10th, National Fuel shares closed at $56.04.

Two Arrested After Heroin Bust in Elk County, $25,000 Worth of Heroin Seized

A St. Marys, PA man and one other person were arrested after an alleged heroin delivery attempt on Saturday, June 4th.

Police discovered that 32-year-old Joseph L. Bauer of St. Marys was allegedly getting heroin near Pittsburgh and taking it to Elk County in order to sell it just two days before his arrest, court documents state. According to court records, police found out that Bauer would allegedly be traveling to Elk County with heroin on Saturday, June 4th.

Police stopped Bauer’s vehicle at 5:40 p.m. on Saturday in order to execute a search warrant, court records state. The vehicle was parked in the old KFC parking lot on South St. Marys Street. According to court records, police seized a total of 19 1/2 heroin bricks. The street value of the heroin is around $25,000. Police also seized some drug paraphernalia.

According to what Bauer told police, he used money he made from allegedly selling heroin and money that 31-year-old Timothy L. Close Jr. of Ridgeway gave him in order to purchase the heroin police seized. Close allegedly gave Bauer $4,200 in order to purchase heroin. According to police, the alleged deal was set up via cell phone.

Bauer faces charges including felony possession with intent to deliver heroin, felony conspiracy to deliver heroin, felony dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities in the 1st degree, felony criminal use of a communication facility in the 3rd degree, misdemeanor possessing heroin, and misdemeanor possessing paraphernalia. Close faces charges including felony conspiracy to deliver heroin, felony dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities in the first degree, and felony criminal use of a communication facility in the third degree.

After Bauer’s arraignment in front of Magisterial District Judge Mark Jacob in St. Marys on Saturday, he was placed n jail. Close was arrested on Monday, June 6th. After Close’s arraignment in front of Magisterial District Judge Mark Jacob, he was also placed in jail. The bail for Bauer and Close is $50,000 a piece. Their preliminary hearing are both scheduled for June 14th, 2016, at 9:15 a.m. Please remember that the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The arrests of Bauer and Close come after investigations by the Attorney General’s North Central Municipal Drug Task Force and St. Marys City Police.