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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 10, 2016 10:03 AM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Changes to the Oil and Gas Conservation Law
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation which would amend the Oil and Gas Conservation Law. This law, which was established in 1961, was enacted decades before the use of horizontal drilling at deep shale depths by the oil and gas industry.

Under current law, if an oil or gas operator penetrates the Onondaga formation on purpose or by accident, they are required to meet additional permitting requirements as a conservation well and pay an additional $5,000 fee. It is not uncommon for an oil and gas operator to briefly penetrate the Onondaga formation while drilling into the Marcellus Shale because of the imperfect nature of geologic formations.

My legislation simply would allow an operator who inadvertently penetrates, but does not intend to develop the Onondaga or a shale formation below the Onondaga to be exempt from the additional requirements and fees.

An operator who intends to develop below the Onondaga, including the Utica formation, would continue to be required to meet the requirements of the Oil and Gas Conservation Law.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1145