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Consol plans Utica gas well at Pittsburgh airport

| Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, 9:21 p.m.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
Consol Energy Inc.'s pad No. 2 in Findlay is part of the natural gas development at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Consol Energy Inc. will drill a test well into the deeper Utica shale from one of its Marcellus gas well pads on Pittsburgh International Airport property.

The Cecil-based natural gas and coal producer said Tuesday it received approval from Findlay zoning officials to replace one of the 12 Marcellus wells it planned for Pad 4 at the airport with a Utica well. No date has been set for drilling.

Like other several other major shale producers, Consol is getting huge results from a few new wells tapping the dry Utica layer, which runs beneath the Marcellus and can produce large amounts of gas with few related liquids. Consol is fracking a Utica well in Greene County and finished wells in Monroe County, Ohio, and in Westmoreland County.

The wells will help company officials map the geographic extent of the productive part of the rock layer.

Because of persistently low prices, Consol has halted its drilling program while it fracks wells in its inventory, though drilling from an existing well pad can be done more cheaply.

The company signed a deal with Allegheny County officials that paid the county Airport Authority a $46 million upfront fee and promised additional royalties on eventual production from wells drilled from six pads in Findlay and Moon.

Consol expects production to begin this spring from all six wells drilled from Pad 2 and one of the four wells drilled from Pad 1.

Four of the 12 wells planned for Pad 4 have been drilled and are awaiting completion. Design and engineering is underway on two more pads. Work has yet to begin on Pad 5, which in August received approval from Moon officials.

David Conti is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at 412-388-5802 or dconti@tribweb.com.

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