Thursday, March 25, 2010

Houston not looking over its shoulder..... yet?

FT has a couple things worth taking a look at.  Their energysource blog has an entry today about shale gas in Europe and China. This whole natgas rage is not just going on here.  

Also an article worth a scan:  Houston, where energy is king.  Semi-gratuitous Pittsburgh mention though not the Marcellus mention you might expect.  In fact, no Marcellus mention at all as best I see reading quickly.  The Pgh quote is:   
Mike Linn, executive chairman of Linn Energy, knows that first-hand. He decided in 2006 to move his Pennsylvania-based oil and gas company to Houston. “I couldn’t attract engineers and geologists to move to Pittsburgh. If you want to attract the most talented people to grow a company, Houston is the place to be,” he says.
Which of course was all pre-Marcellus rage. You have to wonder whether he would make that same decision today, and more interesting why that question wasn't even asked.  In 2006 I bet Marcellus didn't have any mention in any local news at all and when I wrote things like this lots of folks in town said I was nuts, or somehow being quaint....  It was all biotech or bust and energy was just not going to be a big enough player to focus on ever again.   

Anyway....   just something else I saw the other day on marcellus stuff.  Philly Inquirer has a look at the impact Marcellus Shale is having on short line rail in the state.

That is a bigger story than it may seem.  Some may recall that before the recession the big congestion issue in the national rail grid was being driven in lots of ways by ever growing transportation of coal.  We may think most coal is delivered by barge, which may be true around here.  Yet the greater Pgh region is not the sole coal region it once was and out in Wyoming the Power River basin now dwarfs all that comes from Pennsylvania and West Virginia combined.   That coal is all mostly being delived by rail. The impacts on local and natioanl rail grids could be significant and I never pondered the marcellus connection since the product will mostly be delivered by pipeline...  But as the article points out, there are inputs that need to be shipped in.  Reminds me of the story of the Panama Canal.  It wasn't hard to dig the ditch, but shipping out the stuff being excavated was the bigger issue and efficient rail usage was the solution.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jerry said...

Chris,

Not to dismiss your analysis, but the best part is the Border Guard Bob reference. But really, do you want to kill BGB? He may go down as one of the great almost icons of Pittsburgh with the likes of Cone-Man and Steely McBeergut or whatever his name was.

Sunday, March 28, 2010 9:50:00 AM  

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