Pennsylvania Governor Bans New Oil/Gas Leases On State Land


Jan 29 (Reuters) - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on Thursday signed an executive order reinstating a moratorium on new leases for oil and natural gas development in state parks and forests.

The move restores the ban lifted by his predecessor, Tom Corbett, a Republican.

Officials in Pennsylvania were not immediately available to say how much gas and oil energy companies produce from state forest and park land.

Wolf, a Democrat, generally supports fracking, but called in his inaugural speech this month for it to be done safely with less impact on the environment.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the most common method of drilling to release gas from shale rock.

It involves blasting large volumes of water, sand and chemicals to release the gas, and has been linked to water and soil contamination when untreated fracking waste is improperly released into the environment.

Drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has transformed the state into an energy powerhouse and produced economic prosperity from jobs and royalties over the past several years.

Production of gas in the Marcellus, the biggest and fastest growing U.S. shale gas field centered under Pennsylvania and West Virginia, was expected to reach about 16.6 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), up from just 2.0 bcfd five years ago, according to federal data.

A little over 20 percent of the gas produced in the United States is expected to come from the Marcellus in 2015, according to federal data.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino and Barbara Goldberg; Editing by James Dalgleish)


Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

Daryl Breese  |  January 29, 2015
There is no need to have a moratorium. I worked in this field three of the last five years. There I developed tested and proved a drilling fluid that is Water Based and friendly to the water aquifers. It also allows recycling of cuttings. We just took it a step further and this drilling fluid actually opens fractures ionicly, strictly localized to the production zones. That means simply, more production and NO NEED TO HYDRAULICLY FRACK. Everyone wins- water tables safe. We call it Aquarius- lets get back to drilling and drinking our water without worry!
Don  |  January 29, 2015
This Governor doesnt know the first thing about drilling or fracking!. I as a Pennsylvania Resident, and ex-driller from the 70s,80s, 90s, till 2010 in Pennsylvania region, know that if the drilling contractors Hands do the job clean and safe from chemicals being spilled on the ground surface. And they drill to the bottom of the ground water table, with STRAIGHT AIR and WATER for return of cuttings, the surface water WILL NOT BE HURT, in any way. If the Drilling is done this way to the bottom of the water table, in which there are a possible 3 different casing that are run and ceiled off with cement, before they even get to the bottom of the surface or ground water table. After the ground water or fresh water table is ceiled off the only other water below that, is SALT WATER, and that is 4 to 5 thousand feet deep and below any drinking water and the hole can be drilled with STRAIGHT AIR and dusted unless there is OIL, a SMELL of GAS, and then they have to mud up. And when they MUD Up they should be using a WATER BASED MUD and not an OIL BASED MUD!. And fracking will hurt the environment, Fracking is done thousands of Feet below the water table, and is cased off multiple times with steel casing, and ceiled off with cement around the outside of the casing. All water that is pumped into the hole for forcing the sand into the formation is pumped out and than stored in tanks until it is taken to a WATER TREATMENT PLANT and clean of all impurities. The PEOPLE in this STATE and other STATES need to be EDUCATED on the PROCESS of DRILLING and FRACKING before they OPEN their PIE HOLES and Complain. And More Drilling Contractors need to take my advice and Drill it this way!.... GET Rid of the OIL BASED MUD, if you need it out west use it there.................