Marcellus Drilling in Central PA Slowing Down in 2011

The Centre County (PA) Natural Gas Task Force says that drilling for Marcellus gas in the county has slowed down this year, with only about a quarter of the number of new wells being drilled this year vs. last year. Why? According to the task force, the reasons for the slowdown are low gas prices and lack of pipeline infrastructure.

Marcellus Shale is big business across our state. But, according to Centre County’s Natural Gas Task Force, some companies are moving out of Central PA, specifically in Centre County.

Officials with the county’s task force say on average there’s one well being drilled per month this year. This is compared to 3.5 wells being drilled per month last year.

In 2010, there were 51 wells drilled. So far there have been 6 wells drilled this year.

Officials with the task force say this is because the price of natural gas is going down and there’s a lack of pipeline infrastructure in Northern Centre County.

Mary Wolf, a government relations advisor for Anadarko E&P Company, which is based in Houston says the price of natural gas is about $4. While in the past, the price has been around $10.

Anadarko has wells in places like, Snow Shoe and Boggs Township and have slowed drilling because sometimes it takes years to install pipelines through tough terrain and residential areas.*

However, seismic testing in the county remains very active, indicating that drilling may ramp up again with higher gas prices.

*WTAJ News (Jul 20, 2011) – Seismic Testing Continues as Gas Companies Leave