The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) continues to obstruct drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. The latest energy company to experience frustrations in dealing with the DRBC is Hess, which holds leases to 126,000 acres in Wayne County, PA:
“It’s a big issue,” said Gene Linscomb, a Hess Corp. business manager based in Honesdale. “We’re asking them [the DRBC] for input.”*
The thing is, the DRBC has not approved a single, solitary Marcellus shale operation in the watershed. Not one.
The commission, a West Trenton, N.J.-based regulatory authority that has jurisdiction over water resources in the 13,539-square-mile Delaware River watershed, has yet to green light a single natural gas production well.*
Hess has been asking the DRBC, repeatedly, what they want them to do so Hess can begin to drill.
The [DRBC] has stated it does not intend to be a roadblock to natural gas development – something many Wayne County residents who signed leases do not believe.*
So what is the DRBC doing? They’ve requested $250,000 to do a study about drilling in the Marcellus Shale in the watershed. They’re hoping to get federal money for the study “late this year.” In other words, they’re not doing anything. If you’re a landowner in the Delaware River Basin, or a drilling company, don’t hold your breath for drilling to begin any time soon.
*Scranton Times Tribute (Apr 17) – Hess to Wayne County: ‘(We’re) here for the long term’