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Consol Energy Releases Detailed Plans For Drilling At Pittsburgh International Airport

Consol Energy, Inc., the local energy company that was granted a lease covering the Allegheny County Airport Authority’s nearly 9,300 acres in Moon and Findlay Townships, announced preliminary plans to drill 47 horizontal wells from six well pads, with production expected to occur in 2015. Along with Allegheny County and Airport Authority officials, Consol unveiled the plans on Tuesday. The six well pads are on or near the borders of the Pittsburgh International Airport, and plans could include additional wells in the future into the Upper Devonian Shale, a formation above the targeted Marcellus Shale formation. Consol reported the price tag for the 47 wells could reach $500 million.

Consol was granted the lease earlier in 2013 after Allegheny County council approved the terms of the lease, which included a $50 million bonus payment and 18% royalty. Early estimates indicate the royalties to the county could reach as high as $450 million over 20 years. Airport and county officials are hopeful that, in addition to the direct monetary benefits from the natural gas wells, companies in the area, especially aviation-based employers, will see an increase in business.

Following the announcement, Consol held an open meeting where concerned citizens had the opportunity to voice concerns, ask questions, and see the initial plans.  With the proposed wells, plans also include 17 miles of gas pipeline, 12 miles of water lines, and three water impoundments, each of which will be utilized to store fresh water as well as flowback water, as necessary.

Additionally, the Tribune-Review reports that Consol will purchase approximately 300 million gallons of water from the Moon Township Municipal Authority and the Findlay Township Municipal Authority between 2015 and 2018.  Consol will be the largest customers for both municipal authorities.