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Index > United States of America > Pennsylvania > Oil & Gas Drilling Applications Hit Record Number

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Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

Oil & Gas Drilling Applications in Pennsylvania Hit Record Number in March

6 April 2006 HARRISBURG -- Oil and gas drilling activity has been at a sustained high level, with record numbers of drilling permits issued each of the past two years due to high natural gas and crude oil prices.

However, recent activity peaked even higher.

DEPís Northwest Regional Office received an all time record of 377 drilling applications in March, surpassing the old record of 333 in November 2005.

The March figure is the largest number of applications ever received in any one-month period since the enactment of the Oil and Gas Act of 1985.

DEP'sSouthwest Regional Office also is seeing record numbers of oil and gas drilling permit applications.

In March 2006, SWRO issued a record 382 permits, 60 more than the previous high of 322 permits issued in August of 2005.

The increase in activity is more dramatically illustrated by comparing the first two quarters of 2005 and 2006.

In the period between Jan. 1 and March 31 last year, SWRO recieved 734 permit applications.

This number jumped by 23 percent in the first quarter of 2006, with the department receiving 901 permit applications during that period.

Current permit applications in 2006 put Pennsylvania on a pace to exceed last years record-breaking Oil and Gas permitting totals.

The department issued 6,046 permits in 2005, a 32.4 percent increase over the previous record of 4,567 permits in 2004.

Along with the high number of drilling permits, the commonwealth continues to a see modest increases in total reported oil and gas production, and in the number of wells reporting production.

Natural Gas production in Pennsylvania in 2004 was estimated to be 163,346,110,000 cubic feet from 43,906 wells.

There were nearly 1,000 new gas wells drilled in 2004.

Oil production in 2004 was estimated to be 3,669,969 barrels from 16,061 wells. There were 300 new oil wells drilled in 2004.

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) compiles annual production estimates from all oil and gas-producing states which it provides to the US Department of Energy. 2005 production estimates will be announced in June.

There are approximately 109,000 permitted oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania. It is estimated that as many as 300,000 wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania since oil was first discovered in Venango County in 1859.






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