Will growing environmental pressure group opposition cripple the ongoing surge in unconventional oil and gas drilling? In a number of states and municipalities, new regulations are either being implemented or considered that aim to restrict oil and gas development. Regardless of the region, the tactics are familiar and are aimed at restricting drilling by inflaming public concern over clean water, clean air, and noise levels.
In Pennsylvania, state lawmakers moved a step closer to adopting new fees and new controls on drilling in the Marcellus Shale. But The Land Rig Newsletter team, in its latest issue of The Unconventional Drilling Report, calculates the added costs from the new fees at <$0.05/MMcfe for a 5 Bcfe well; hence, no significant adverse impacts to drilling are anticipated. Efforts to hobble unconventional drilling are also under way in Texas, Arkansas, and West Virginia. In the end, even with some regulatory creep, The Land Rig Newsletter team views the net impact to drilling as negligible.