New Castle News

March 14, 2012

Marcellus Shale drilling begun in Perry

Debbie Wachter Morris
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Marcellus Shale drilling has begun in Perry Township.

Shell Oil Co. started drilling on the Gerald and Suzanne Twentier property off Breakneck Bridge Road this month. After a few days, the top hole rig, which drills the first hole and sets the casing, was packed up and moved on.

Shell will use a conductor rig to drill the second hole and cement the top.

Then an even bigger rig will be used to do horizontal drilling, explained Shell’s communication specialist, Kimberly Windon. She said that will arrive in parts in multiple trucks and will have to be assembled.

Once in place, that rig will be visible from far away, Windon said.

Information was unavailable Tuesday as to when that rig would arrive at that or other Lawrence County sites.

The larger rig also is expected for the Patterson farm in New Beaver Borough, where the first exploratory well was drilled in Lawrence County last year.

The Twentier site, a single well pad, lies about 300 feet from the border of McConnell’s Mill State Park. Shell Oil representatives have said the drilling is to be directed away from the state park.

Shell is one of several companies looking to drill through the Marcellus and Utica Shale layers of natural gas in the county.

Other drilling is planned by Rex Energy of State College, Pa., and Hilcorp Energy of Houston, Texas.