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South Buffalo approves 2nd XTO Energy drilling site

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 1:26 a.m.

This summer, XTO Energy plans to build two well pads — each large enough for eight Marcellus shale gas wells — on sites about 2 miles apart in South Buffalo.

Supervisors on Monday approved a drilling project on the Frantz property off of Furnace Run Road. Earlier this month, the board agreed to allow drilling on the Lindsay Farm off of Iron Bridge Road.

Both sites will have 300-foot-by-400-foot well pads.

Drilling is expected to take place in November and December.

One or two wells will be drilled at each site to determine whether the productivity is high enough to warrant drilling the other wells on the pad.

“I don't know that we're going to drill all those wells,” said XTO attorney Shawn Gallagher.

It will takes about a month to complete a well.

Water needed to hydraulically fracture the wells will be pumped from Buffalo Creek.

XTO has a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection that allows it to draw up to 1.2 million gallons a day from the creek, said Derek Folmer, land surface coordinator for XTO.

Each well requires between 4 million and 6 million gallons to complete.

For the Frantz site, the water will be pumped from the creek near South Scenic Drive, then piped under South Scenic and Furnace Run to the drilling area.

XTO will bore under both roads to run the water pipe.

Water will be pumped from the creek near Iron Bridge Road for the Lindsay well.

Both drilling sites are located near a similar operation on South Scenic Drive where the company built a well pad two years ago.

Company officials said XTO also has plans to drill wells on property on Horseshoe Drive north of Route 28.

Supervisors expressed concern about the deterioration of Furnace Run Road under heavy truck traffic.

The road has never been paved, just tar-and-chipped, and supervisors worry the base won't hold up.

“We've had experience with you (XTO) on the Bowser well (South Scenic Drive), which is a dirt road, and you've done very well,” said Supervisor Glenn Heilman. “But Furnace Run is going to require more than putting down stone.”

Folmer said if the base does deteriorate then the company will restore it and tar-and-chip the road.

They'll make sure that local traffic can pass, he said.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at

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