Regulatory questions


Q.    What laws pertain to the drilling of oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania?

The drilling of oil and gas wells here in Pennsylvania is regulated by several chapters of the Pennsylvania Code and various state acts.  A complete list of laws and regulations, along with their respective weblinks, can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) – Bureau of Oil and Gas Management’s website.

Additional Resource(s):
 

 

Q.    What is the difference between a “conservation” well and a “deep” well?

A “conservation” well is defined as any well penetrating the top of the Onondaga Limestone (or equivalent formation when the Onondaga is absent) and is at least 3,800 feet deep. This term is defined by the Oil and Gas Conservation Law. The Pennsylvania Geological Survey considers a “deep” well to be any well that penetrates the Middle Devonian Tully Limestone.

Additional Resource(s):
 

OFOG 07-01.0

 

Q.    Who is responsible for permitting, inspecting, and ensuring regulatory compliance of wells drilled by oil and gas companies?

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) – Bureau of Oil and Gas Management is responsible for regulating oil and gas operators.

Additional Resource(s):
 

PADEP - Pittsburgh office – (412) 442-4024
PADEP - Meadville office – (814) 332-6860
PADEP - Williamsport office – (570) 321-6550
PADEP - Harrisburg – (717) 772-2199

Q.    Who is responsible for regulating the disposal of “frac” water generated during the completion of Marcellus wells?

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) – Bureau of Oil and Gas Management is responsible for this, too. If the disposal method is to be an injection well, two permits are needed: one from the PADEP and another from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appendix 5 of the Oil and Gas Operators Manual and Section 78.18 of the Pennsylvania Code (see weblinks, below) provide more information on these permitting issues.

Additional Resource(s):
 

http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/025/chapter78/chap78toc.html 

Q.    What is the relationship between the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Geological Survey?

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the Pennsylvania Geological Survey (a bureau within the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) are sister agencies. As such, they share oil and gas well permit and geologic data with each other through the Survey’s Wells Information System (WIS) database. Questions of a regulatory nature should be directed to PADEP, and questions regarding the geology, production, or other related information regarding a well, county, or region can be directed to the Survey.

Additional Resource(s):
 

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/
PADEP - Pittsburgh office – (412) 442-4024
PADEP - Meadville office – (814) 332-6860
PADEP - Williamsport office – (570) 321-6550
PADEP - Harrisburg – (717) 772-2199
Pennsylvania Geological Survey – Pittsburgh office – (412) 442-4235

Q.   Am I able to get information on the environmental compliance history of an oil and gas operator?

Yes. You may visit PADEP’s Environment Facility Application Compliance Tracking System (eFACTS) database, a free, online tool that allows the public to search for operators, facilities/sites, permits, and the like for each of the programs that PADEP regulates, including Oil and Gas Management.

Additional Resource(s):
http://www.ahs2.dep.state.pa.us/eFactsWeb/default.aspx

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