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Valley News Dispatch

More, deeper wells planned for existing Marcellus site in Washington Township

Mary Ann Thomas
| Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, 4:39 p.m.
A drilling rig towers over the walls of Huntley and Huntley Energy Exploration's Poseidon well pad, in Penn Twp., as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
A drilling rig towers over the walls of Huntley and Huntley Energy Exploration's Poseidon well pad, in Penn Twp., as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

CNX has applied to the state Department of Environmental Protection for a permit to drill four new wells to tap natural gas from Utica shale at an existing Marcellus shale well pad in Washington Township.

The site is known as the Mamont South 1 Pad. It’s located near Evans Road, off of Route 286, in Washington Township on property owned by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.

The twist for the new application is that CNX is tapping both shale formations from the same well pad, which first was developed with five wells for Marcellus shale in 2014, according to Brian D. Aiello, a CNX spokesman.

CNX applied to DEP in December to drill four new Utica shale wells on the same pad, he said.

It’s unclear if any approval is needed by Washington Township since the proposed wells are on approved pad sites, according to township Supervisor Joseph Olszewski.

Evans Road already is bonded by CNX and is in good condition, he said.

“CNX can use it for overweight equipment and, if there is damage, we will assess any damages and they will pay for any damages,” Olszewski.

CNX has been maintaining that section of road and it’s “been working out well,” he said.

The Utica shale gas reserves reside deeper than Marcellus and, in Pennsylvania, sometimes they overlap, such as at the Mamont site in Washington Township.

“We believe that area of Westmoreland County has significant potential in terms of what we call our “stacked pay” strategy, basically drilling multiple shale plays from the same pad,” Aiello said.

“Stacked pay has many benefits including a reduced environmental footprint and improved operational efficiencies,” Aiello said.

Other operators see value in such a strategy as well, according to the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

“The Utica Shale in Pennsylvania is a geological layer deeper than the Marcellus that some operators are looking to develop in the southwestern and northern tier areas of the state for its significant production potential,” said Marcellus Shale Coalition spokeswoman Erica Clayton Wright.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary Ann at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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