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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Let The $$Drilling$$ Begin--Drillers Pay Millions To Drill State Forest Lands

Gas Drilling Coming On 11,000 State Forest Acres

January 13th, 2010

wellheadsmallerNatural gas drilling will go forward on 11,000 more acres of state forest land in Potter County, following the opening of bids this week. Companies are eager to cash in on rich gas deposits located deep underground in Marcellus shale formations.

In Potter County, Seneca Resources of Houston, Texas, was high bidder — at $23.3 million — to lease 7,440 acres between Denton Hill and Fox Hill, north and west of Ski Denton and the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. Lease on a separate forest land tract of 3,640 acres north of Mina and west of Dingman Run Road, in Eulalia and Roulette townships, went to Penn Virginia Corp. of Radnor for $13.9 million.

The state will limit the natural gas development to 29 well pads and about 145 disturbed acres in the Denton Hill/Fox Hill parcel, and 14 well pads with about 70 acres cleared in the Eulalia/Roulette leases. The acreage estimates do not include road access and pipeline construction. Conditions will also be imposed to protect waterways, “viewsheds” and sensitive natural areas.

Leasing of state forest land for energy production is nothing new, but the Marcellus Shale natural gas rush brings a new element with more complex drilling and production techniques, including “hydrofracturing” to create fissures in the shale and release the gas.

Private interests own all or parts of the mineral rights on a large proportion of state forest land in Potter County, so additional drilling is inevitable.

This week’s successful bidders will pay the state $128 million for the rights to drill on nearly 32,000 acres statewide. The state will also receive 18 percent of production royalties.

For more information on state forest land leasing:


(Photo by Curt Weinhold) Potter County Today


Anonymous said...

I strongly suggest anyone who is anywhere near these areas has professional water testing conducted before, during and after the drilling. This has the potential to severely impact the quality of our water. For those of you with springs and wells, be on the lookout for any changes and get the tests to back up your claims!

Anonymous said...

This shows the potential issues