Pennsylvania lawmakers, both Democrat and Republican, agree that bonds posted by drillers need to increase—dramatically. The bonds are used to cover the costs of plugging or closing natural gas wells. The current bond requirements date back to 1984.
Drillers are required to post a $2,500 bond for a single well and $25,000 blanket bond to cover any number of wells under current law. A measure sponsored by Rep. Camille George, D-74, Houtzdale, would require a $150,000-per-well bond for any well in the Marcellus Shale formation and $12,000 bond on other oil and gas wells. George, chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, also proposes setting a $240,000 blanket bond, while prohibiting blanket bonds for wells in the Marcellus Shale formation. He suggested those amounts would cover the actual costs of decommissioning.
*Hazelton Standard Speaker (May 23) – Marcellus drilling spurs calls for higher bonds