Morgantown Marcellus Wells Coming Online

MDN chronicled the battle earlier this year between Northeast Natural Energy and the city of Morgantown, WV over Northeast’s plan to drill two Marcellus Shale gas wells near the city. In short, the Morgantown City Council tried to ban drilling both inside and outside city limits—up to one mile outside—which would have prevented Northeast from drilling the two wells.

Morgantown attempted to use a state law which indicates cities can take such actions outside their borders if they believe there is an imminent threat to residents of the city. The ban went to court, and a judge overturned it, clearing the way for Northeast to drill.

Northeast went forward with drilling and fracking the two wells. The wells have now been flared and will shortly be connected to a local pipeline, providing low-cost Marcellus natural gas to the very same city that opposed it.

Company President Mike John told The Dominion Post that a controlled combustion of natural gas called flaring was completed for the wells Monday morning.

John said the wells will be connected to Dominion Hope’s system and will provide gas for the Morgantown market.*

It’s worth pointing out that those who opposed drilling near Morgantown feared it would pollute the Monongahela River, which Morgantown uses as its main source of water. It didn’t. They also said drilling activity at the site would create high levels of air pollution, charging it would affect the health of children at a nearby elementary school. It didn’t. In short, the nightmare scenarios conjured up by those who opposed drilling did not happen, just as they don’t in the vast majority of fracking that happens across the country. Just sayin’.

*The Charleston Gazette/AP (Dec 20, 2011) – Morgantown gas wells ready for production