FREEDOM — A hydraulic fracturing company wants to cut down on the number of trucks transporting water for its fracking operations by drawing water from the Ohio River.
Shale development company PennEnergy Resources LLC, based in Findlay Township, received approval last month from Freedom Council to construct one or more water pipelines through the borough. That would allow the company to bring water from the Ohio River to fracking operations in Beaver County, company and government representatives said.
“They want to supply water instead of trucking it,” New Sewickley Township Manager Walter Beighey Jr. said.
The water would help operations in New Sewickley and Daugherty townships, as well as Economy, said PennEnergy Chairman and CEO Richard Weber.
In New Sewickley, one well pad is already active and another on Zeigler Road could produce natural gas in the next few weeks, Weber said.
Another fracking site known as B5 on Mellon Road in the township just had a big drill rig arrive last week, Beighey said. That well pad belongs to PennEnergy, and it currently has a pipeline being built to it that would move gas to a compressor station, Weber said. Compressor stations help pump extracted natural gas to other locations.
Freedom officials hailed the project’s benefits to the borough. Council President John Kaercher noted promised improvements to Eighth Street, including repaving.
“That’s the easiest way for them to get from point A to point B,” Kaercher said of the proposed water line. “They want to get a supply line out there so they can have a constant draw of water.”
Weber said a water pipeline would also help the company reduce costs.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spokesman John Poister said the company would need a water-management plan to draw from the river, but no such plan was on file as of Wednesday. Provisions in state-approved management plans include such details as how much water may be drawn and at what time.
PennEnergy previously received permission from DEP to draw water from Brush Creek, but sometimes that water level is low, Beighey said.
The company is still working on where the water from the Ohio River would ultimately go, Weber said.
This article was written by David Taube from Beaver County Times, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.