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Legislation Establishes New Reporting Requirements for Marcellus Shale Gas Wells

Posted: June 20, 2010

Legislation enacted in May requires well operators to provide production data to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on a semi-annual basis. The legislation also requires production data to be made public, eliminating the previous 5-year confidentiality period.

by Grant C. Johnson, Research Assistant

Legislation, which became effective on May 21, 2010, amends the requirements for reporting Marcellus Shale gas well production data to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Senate Bill 297, sponsored by Senator Gene Yaw, amended the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act to require operators of Marcellus wells to provide well production information to DEP on a semi‐annual basis, instead of annually. 58 PA. STAT. § 601.212. Operators now are required to file initial reports that include the status of each well and production data for the preceding calendar year with DEP on or before August 15, 2010. If the status of a well changes, subsequent semi‐annual reports must be filed with DEP on or before February 15 and August 15 of each year. Furthermore, while the previous law required DEP to keep status reports confidential for five years, the new law eliminates the five year period for Marcellus Shale well production information and requires DEP to make these reports publicly available on its Web site beginning November 1, 2010.

For more information on legal aspects of natural gas issues, please visit the Agricultural Law Center’s Natural Gas Exploration Resource Area.