New Castle News

Marcellus Shale

February 8, 2012

Shale drilling not yet booming here

NEW CASTLE — Marcellus and Utica shale drilling in Lawrence County is not booming — yet.

But progress is being met with mixed emotions from landowners who either have scrambled to sign top-dollar leases with drilling companies or who are being cautious about the effects hydraulic fracking could have on their land and the environment.

Shell Appalachia, a division of Shell Oil Co., plans to drill four wells in Lawrence County this year, according to Kimberly Windon, a company spokeswoman.

Shell is hosting a series of town hall-style meetings in Lawrence and Butler counties to inform people of its leasing and drilling activities and provide information about the company. The sessions are:

•Monday — 6 to 8 p.m., Lincoln High School auditorium, Ellwood City.

•Feb. 15 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Slippery Rock University student union.

•Feb. 21 — 6 to 8 p.m., North Beaver Township fire hall.

Shell also is setting up a hotline for questions or concerns. The number will be announced at the meetings.

According to Windon, the company has had two exploratory wells drilled in Lawrence County, both last year on the Harry J. Patterson farm off Mount Air Road in Little Beaver Township.

She wouldn’t say what resources the drilling companies are finding, noting that is confidential.

The company plans to drill six more wells in Lawrence and Butler counties this year, including another one on the Patterson farm that will begin next month. Three additional sites will be in North Beaver, Scott and Perry townships. The other two are in Butler County.

According to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection e-tracking, these well sites are either approved or permits are pending:

•The property of R. Henry in Slippery Rock Township, permit pending by Shell.

•The property of G. Twentier, Portersville, permit pending by Shell.

•Harry Patterson, Little Beaver Township, permit issued Jan. 17 to Shell.

•W. Mayberry, Scott Township, permit pending by Shell.

•Hufnagel, a well pad in Perry Township, permit pending, by REX Energy Operating Corp. of State College.

Statistics from the county register and recorder’s office show that as of Feb. 1, at least 3,777 memorandums, leases and oil and gas leases have been recorded for Lawrence County properties since 2004. Of those, 1,877 were in 2011.

Ken Daugherty of New Castle was hired by Hilcorp Energy Co., an oil and gas exploration firm, to help secure leases in Lawrence and Mercer counties.

Hilcorp, a privately owned Texas-based firm, has leased about 65,000 acres in both counties so far, Daugherty said. His work in Lawrence County is mostly in Pulaski, North Beaver and Mahoning townships.

The company anticipates drilling between two and 10 wells locally this year, he said.

Hilcorp, Shell and REX are exploration companies that lease properties for drilling, he explained, then they contract with drilling operators for the work.

Hilcorp will contract with local companies for building the cement drill pads and for road maintenance, he added.

Daugherty has been meeting with local officials, engineers and environmental representatives to present information about the company’s plans, he said.

“We’re in the process of applying for permits,” Daugherty said. “We’re just really getting started.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Marcellus Shale
  • Our Opinion: New study suggests problem with some state shale gas wells

    A recent study of leaks from shale gas wells raises more questions than it answers. And because of the growing presence of shale gas wells in Pennsylvania, it’s essential that both government and industry provide clarity.

    July 9, 2014

  • gavel.jpg Holdout property owners file for injunction

    Holdout landowners are asking Commonwealth Court to declare that forced pooling violates the state constitution.

    May 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Holdout landowners retain Pittsburgh attorney; ask hearings be postponed

    A Pittsburgh attorney is asking that next month’s hearings on forced pooling be postponed. Atty. Omar Abuhejleh also filed a motion with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Friday allowing the affected landowners to formally intervene in the case filed by Hilcorp Energy Co.

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangers of fracking the topic at Villa Maria

    Public health concerns about fracking must be addressed, a nurse practitioner told approximately 150 people at Villa Maria on Thursday.

    April 26, 2014

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Anti fracking group waits for answer to its letter

    More than 20 state environmental groups are asking that March 25 and 26 hearings on proposed “forced pooling” be postponed. They say more time is necessary to allow members of the public to voice their opinions.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Hilcorp_Energy.jpg DEP seeks extra hearing, more room

    State officials are seeking greater public participation for a hearing on a request that could lead to “forced pooling.” The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is asking that the hearings be moved to a facility that  can accommodate 500 people, and that an additional day of hearings be added.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hilcorp_Energy.jpg Hilcorp seeks to force drilling on reluctant landowners

    A hearing has been set on a request to force local landowners to allow gas and oil drilling. Hilcorp Corp., a Texas firm with multiple well pads in the area, is asking for the so-called “forced pooling.”

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • shale.tiff Commission reviews 11 well pad plans

    As Marcellus and Utica shale drilling continues and pipelines are laid, plans are in place for more well pads locally. The Lawrence County Planning Commission reviewed land development plans Tuesday for 11 sites for well pads, which are where the drilling rigs are set up.

    December 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • pipe.tiff Natural gas pipeline webs being spun through area

    First of three parts: A few years ago, talk about Marcellus and Utica shales was about drilling and fracking. While drilling for natural gas is now prevalent locally and well pads are dotting the county’s horizon, focus is shifting to the digging for construction of pipelines to transport the gas from the drilling sites to areas throughout the middle and eastern United States.

    October 29, 2013 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read

Summer is a perfect time for a good read. Where's your favorite place to spend off time with your nose in a book?

Relaxing on the couch
On a bench in the park
By the pool
At the closest beach
I don't have time to read
     View Results