PA Game Commission Executive Director Reports on Problems with Marcellus Drilling on Public Lands

PR Newswire (Feb 16)
Game Commission Delivers Annual Report to Legislature

Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe presented the agency’s annual report to the General Assembly, and delivered testimony before the House Game and Fisheries Committee on February 16. Below is an excerpt of his testimony as it touched on the subject of drilling on Game Commission (publicly owned) lands:

I am sure there will be questions on Marcellus Shale, so I will quickly address the subject. During Fiscal Year 2008, the Game Commission approved three oil/gas leases within the Marcellus Shale development areas of the Commonwealth.  These leases totaled 2,693.43 acres and were worth an average upfront payment of $907.38 dollars per acre to the Commission constituting an additional 10 acres of State Game Lands acquisition as well as revenues to the game fund. The average royalty per acre for these leases was 23.08 percent. During Fiscal Year 2008, there were no Marcellus wells drilled on any of these leases but there were four wells planned for drilling in the Fiscal Year 2009. On all other currently active leases on State Game Lands, there were two Marcellus wells commenced and placed into production in Fiscal Year 2008. The Game Commission received a total of $113,336.26 royalty revenues during Fiscal Year 2008 from Marcellus gas production, with the average approximate well production being only 250 mcf/day, rather than the 2,000-3,000 mcf/day production some have assumed would occur. Unfortunately, there have also been two separate environmental degradation incidents which occurred during these wells development causing the need for increased Game Commission coordination, and oversight management scrutiny.