Tuesday, July 6, 2010

564 Marcellus Shale Gas Wells Drilled In PA So Far This Year

The Department of Environmental Protection today reported there have been 564 Marcellus Shale natural gas wells drilled so far this year in Pennsylvania and a total of 1,172 permits issued for new wells.
The numbers were announced as part of the bill signing ceremony held by Gov. Rendell for the Fiscal Code bill-- Senate Bill 1042 (Browne-R-Lehigh) part of the FY 2010-11 budget, which includes a provision committing the General Assembly to enact a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production.
"The rich natural gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale represent a tremendous opportunity in the form of new jobs and economic stimulus to mostly rural communities across the commonwealth," said Gov. Rendell. "Today, there are 1,300 more jobs in Bradford County in mining and other parts of the economy than there were a year ago.
"We have a responsibility to ensure that the economic benefits are balanced with the need to protect the local environment and the residents of communities where the work is being done.
"Along with the economic boom, the burgeoning natural gas industry is also creating a lot of new responsibilities and concerns that carry enormous costs for local communities," said Gov. Rendell.
"The local and county governments where this drilling is taking place do not have the financial resources they need to address these concerns. That's why it is absolutely essential that the severance tax we enact pay these host municipalities their fair share. The drilling activity is going on now, so we need to start working on this tax now so there's no delay in getting them the financial resources they need."
To date this year, 1,164 natural gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania. Of that total, 564 have been drilled to access gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale, with 143 of those wells being drilled in Bradford County—the most of any county in the state this year.
The Department of Environmental Protection has also issued nearly 2,900 drilling permits this year, of which 1,172 were for Marcellus development. By comparison, 1,984 Marcellus permits were issued in all of 2009.
For more on the FY 2010-11 budget, visit www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com.

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