AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

September 25, 2013

Reports: New drilling permits, violations

By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
Allied News

— The latest reports of local gas and oil drilling activities in and around the Allied News coverage area over the past month show new permits have been issued along with several violations.

The data listed below includes reports from Butler, Lawrence, Mercer and Venango counties, and the information came from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection website.

Reports also came from SkyTruth, a non-profit organization that uses remote sensing and digital mapping to create images that "expose the landscape disruption and habitat degradation caused by mining, oil and gas drilling, deforestation, fishing and other human activities," according to its website.

SkyTruth issues alerts about drilling activities and violations via email based on DEP records, which can be accessed by the public.

Between Aug. 2 and Aug. 30, the DEP issued:

■ In Butler County: Six permits to drill and operate gas wells -- two in Butler Township to XTO Energy Inc. on the Hinch Smith property; one in Center Township to Shell Oil on the Renick property; one in Forward Township to XTO on the Hixon property; and two in Summit Township to XTO on the Dreher property.

■ In Lawrence County: One permit to drill and operate an oil and gas well in Pulaski Township to Hilcorp Energy on the Whiting property.

■ In Mercer County: One permit to drill and operate an oil and gas well in West Salem Township to Halcon on the Phillips property.

■ In Venango County: Seven permits to drill and operate a gas well in Rockland Township to Vista Operating Inc. on the Harris property.

These violations were issued during that time period:

■ In Butler County: Chevron was issued an administrative violation Aug. 15 for failure to plug a well upon abandonment in Washington Township.

■ In Venango County: Halcon was issued a violation on Aug. 13 during a routine inspection in Frenchcreek Township.

DEP records show Halcon failed to properly store, transport, process or dispose of a residual waste and that there was discharge into a stream of drill cuttings, oil, brine and/or silt.

Also in Venango, Energy Resources of America was issued a violation Aug. 22 for failure to properly control or dispose of industrial or residual waste to prevent pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth after an inspection at a drill site in Sandycreek Township.

■ In Beaver County, Chesapeake Appalachia was issued a violation Aug. 21 for failing to report a "pollution incident" to DEP that happened at a drill site in South Beaver Township.

For more information, visit the DEP website for Oil and Gas Reports at www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/oil_and_gas_reports/20297 or SkyTruth at skytruth.org

Published Sept. 4, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.