Responsible Drilling Alliance

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Big Oil, Foreign Businesses Pay Billions to Get in on Marcellus Play

Big Oil, Foreign Businesses Pay Billions to Get in on Marcellus Play

In 2005, Pennsylvania issued four permits for companies to drill into the Marcellus Shale. This year, it will issue more than 2,300—a nearly 600 percent increase in just five years. Much of this rush is being fueled by billions of dollars from the world’s largest energy companies and foreign nations.

Since 2008, a number of mega-deals have been announced by major energy companies around the globe that have paid a premium to capitalize on the abundant natural gas resources in the Marcellus, with the most notable being a $41 billion deal by Exxon Mobil to acquire XTO Energy, which has approximately 280,000 acres under lease in the Marcellus Shale region.

Other multi-billion deals have by announced by international corporations, including Norwegian energy giant StatoilHydro’s nearly $3.4 billion deal with Chesapeake Energy; a $4.7 billion deal by Europe’s largest energy company, Royal Dutch Shell to buy East Resources; and a $1 billion joint venture among the U.K.’s BG Group and EXCO Resources. Coal giant Consol Energy also paid $3.5 billion to acquire the natural gas business of Dominion Resources in the Appalachian region.

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