The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources might have approved 27 new oil and gas leases between August 23 and 29, but hundreds of oil and gas well owners throughout the state reportedly fell short of their responsibilities.
This is the first year the DEP has required well owners to submit reports that indicate if a well is structurally sound or at risk for leaks or decay. The new requirement apparently caught some well owners off-guard– the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported yesterday that 450 of the 5,600 well owners throughout Pennsylvania failed to submit the reports.
“It’s a pretty horrible compliance rate,” said DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management Scott Perry.
Burce Grindle, vice president of the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Oil Coalition, defended the owners, many of whom own smaller wells.
“It’s the first year a program like this is implemented,” he said. “Not everybody came to those meetings, so you have a lot small operators with maybe just a well or two wells that rally weren’t informed.”
Over in Ohio, an anti-frackers’ lawsuit continues against Secretary of State Jon Husted, who is accused of wrongfully invalidating ballot measures that sought to limit oil and gas development. The Associated Press reports that, despite being accused of overstepping his authority, Husted insists his actions were “fully rooted in Ohio law.”
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 21 newly-granted oil and gas permits bumped the Utica Shale formation’s total permit count up to 1,996 on August 29. The formation’s total for drilled horizontal wells sits at 1,586.
The ODNR reported no new permits for that same week. According to its Cumulative Permitting Activity log, 44 horizontal permits have been granted for the Ohio Marcellus formation, while 29 horizontal wells have been drilled.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported 30 new oil and gas permits throughout the state; three were renewals, the rest were new.
Elk County topped other areas with 10 new permits split between Seneca Resources Corp and William H. Brawand.