Lake Erie Energy Partners Walks Away from North East Township – Refuses to Drill Any More Wells

Gas drilling opponents in North East Township (Erie County), PA have won a small victory in forcing one driller to leave the area. Lake Erie Energy Partners completed just one of 11 planned wells in the Township, but they will walk away and not complete the other 10 because of a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing and because Township officials have reneged on a promise to the company.

John Sturgill, president of the company, said Friday that a proposed ban on the practice of hydrofracturing — a process that uses pressurized water and chemicals to release natural gas — left him little choice.

"You cannot drill a Medina well without it being fracked," he said. "The other thought is that (township supervisors) have made a decision to rescind a promise that we could use township road rights of way for our pipelines."

Sturgill said he has completed one well that did not need to be hydrofractured.

Sturgill said he already has contacted the landowners and informed them of his decision.

"I am not scared of the environmentalists," he said. "They can yell and scream all they want. The ones who really lose are the (people) who want (drilling). This is their God-given right to use their property in a way that benefits them, as long as it doesn’t hurt somebody else."

Sturgill said he lost a substantial amount of money on the aborted drilling effort. He said he will compensate farmers for site work he did on their property, and said he plans to restore any land he disrupted.

"It’s not [about] me," he said. "I will drill wells someplace else. This is about the farmer who could really use free gas. It’s about a farmer who could really use a royalty check coming to his house for the next 30 years."

Sturgill said he plans to hold on to his leases and might return to the township if the hydrofracturing ban is rejected.*

*Erie Times-News (May 28, 2011) – Lake Erie Energy Partners will cease drilling operations in North East Township

  • Julieann Wozniak

    I wish Range and Chesapeake would “walk away” from Greene County. Their landsmen are like leeches; just won’t take no for an answer from landowners like me.

  • Anonymous

    If I screamed loud enough that environmentalist are hurting the human race and civilization, do you think that we could ban them?  Or have we become so civilized that we are taking steps backwards as a civilization.  If someone says my gas bill is too high and a want to banned drilling in the same sentence, are they an idiot?  This area / country is in a rut and opportunity is looking us right in the face, are we so radical to one side or the other that we can’t compromise and take advantage of it?  The world will need energy and we are the worlds largest consumer of it, do you think we can work together for a common goal, the betterment of our country, our future?  

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.