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South Buffalo Township Planning Commission recommends approval of Marcellus shale drilling sites

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Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

The South Buffalo Township Planning Commission has recommended that supervisors approve requests from MDS Energy of Kittanning to drill three Marcellus shale gas wells.

The well sites are located at:

• Crytzer Farm, Sarver Road

• Slate Lick United Presbyterian Church, Brown Road

• Zecca Farm, Spohn Road

The wells will be drilled vertically, said Michael Knapp, president of Knapp Acquisitions and Production, a land leasing firm that works on behalf of MDS.

The company uses an alternative method to fracture the shale and vertical wells typically require less water than the hydraulic fracturing process used for horizontal wells.

“Because we use liquid nitrogen, we've been able to minimize our water use to about 160,000 gallons per well,” Knapp told the planning commission. He said a maximum of about 80,000 gallons would be on the sites at one time.

Township supervisors will consider the drilling requests Feb. 18.

Pending township approval and drilling permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection, MDS plans to begin drilling before March 31, Knapp said.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or

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