Gas drilling to begin at Hereford Manor Lakes
By Bob Frye
Published: Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
ERIE — Hereford Manor Lakes is misnamed and likely will remain that way for a while.
The property in Franklin Township, Beaver County, doesn't have any lakes on it.
There were two as recently as 2011, and they were among the most popular places in the state for anglers on the opening day of trout season. But the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission drained the lakes when they were deemed to be high-hazard, unsafe dams. They remain empty.
That likely will remain the case into the near future even though the commission is about to make some money from the site.
Commission deputy director Brian Barner told board members Monday the agency is set to enter into an agreement that will allow Alberta Oil and Gas Co. to drill under the property.
The lease — the commission's fifth of its kind — is a nonsurface use deal, meaning Alberta can't drill or build well pads on the property, commission executive director John Arway said. Alberta will drill from adjacent lands and run lateral lines underground, he said.
The commission will get a one-time upfront payment of $1.346 million as well as a $224,250 “conservation donation.” It also will earn 18 percent royalties on the oil and gas mined.
How much those royalties might bring depends on how much gas is found and what price it goes for, Barner said.
All of the money — plus the $5.2 million the commission has earned from its other deals — will be put into a fund earmarked for repairing high-hazard dams.
Money generated at one lake does not necessarily have to be spent there, Barner said. The commission has nine lakes that either have been drained, lowered or are one bad inspection away from either.
The idea has been to repair them based on a variety of factors from cost to priority, Barner said.
The cost of building one lake at Hereford Manor has been estimated at $12 to $15 million, Barner said. That makes it the most expensive project of its kind statewide and likely ensures its “lakes” will sit empty for a while.
“The amount of money this would generate would not be enough to fix that facility anyway,” Barner said.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Big trout key to Yough River stocking effort
- Frye: Questions remain for Allegheny River walleye
- Changes to deer harvest reporting possible in Pennsylvania
- Time to find a good taxidermist is before you bag a trophy
- Outdoors notebook: Sewickley Creek to be stocked with trout