The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has taken steps to lease the rights to drill for natural gas in the 43,000 acres of waterways that run through the Marcellus Shale region and to grant licenses for access to water.
So far the commission has negotiated an agreement with Williams Production Appalachia LLC for water access to Donegal Lake in Westmoreland County, PA; and another agreement with Anadarko Exploration and Production Co. LP for access (Hyner Access) to water owned or controlled by the commission in Clinton County, PA, according to to the Harrisburg, PA-based agency's website.
The commission also is seeking bids for the rights to develop and extract oil and gas with no surface impacts to Rose Valley Lake in Lycoming County, PA. The agency said it will accept bids until July 20.
Spokesman Eric Levis said the commission currently is in negotiations with several other companies to lease gas rights and to withdraw water. He declined to name the companies. He noted that the leases must be approved by the board of commissioners, which meets quarterly. The next meeting is on Sept. 12-13, Levis said.
The commission established the natural gas leasing program and water-access programs earlier this year. "With over 43,000 acres of property under its control, the commission has the opportunity to generate alternative revenues through the sale or lease of natural gas rights and through access to water," said Executive Director John Arway at the time.
Levis said the commission will not permit any extraction equipment on its property. Rather equipment would have to be located on adjacent land, where producers would conduct horizontal drilling.
It further noted that projects and partnerships that impact environmental resources or limit, impede or restrict fishing and boating opportunities will not be considered for further development and implementation under this program.