Pennsylvania seeks pipeline in water dispute with Cabot

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 21 -- Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has arranged for another state agency to finance construction of an $11.8 million water main in Susquehanna County for residents whose water supplies the agency says were fouled by methane migrating from Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.’s wells in the area, DEP Sec. John Hanger said.

“DEP was forced to take action since Cabot continues to deny responsibility for the contamination, despite overwhelming evidence of its responsibility,” Hanger said in an open letter to residents of Dimock in Susquehanna County.

Cabot submitted a detailed letter to DEP on Sept. 28 asking the department to review evidence that the Houston independent is not responsible for methane migrating into northeastern Pennsylvania water wells (OGJ, Oct. 11, 2010, p. 16).

“We have gone above and beyond in our role as a good corporate neighbor, and it is disappointing that [DEP] has chosen to ignore compelling evidence that clearly proves Cabot’s operations are safe, while at the same time demanding a costly, unnecessary solution for water delivery if we do not comply,” said Cabot Chief Executive Officer Dan O. Dinges in a statement.

In an open letter to Pennsylvania citizens, Dinges expressed concerns over what he said was state regulators’ tendency to “communicate through the media instead of with the company.” He noted that Hanger previously indicated his commitment to make Cabot pay for constructing a water line from Montrose, Pa., to 14 or fewer private residences 7 miles away in Dimock occupied by plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging contamination of drinking water by methane allegedly from Cabot’s wells.

Cabot has produced documents showing methane occurred in well water in the area long before it drilled its wells. It has offered to install treatment systems, but the DEP is pressing for the pipeline and threatens court action to make Cabot pay the costs.

In the interim, Hanger said the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVEST), an agency which finances water and sewer projects, would be asked to provide the estimated $11.5 million for the Pennsylvania American Water Co. to provide water service to the Dimock residents with a new 5.5-mile main from its Lake Montrose treatment plant.

“Sophisticated testing has ‘fingerprinted’ gas samples and matched the gas found in five homes to the gas leaking from the nearby Cabot wells,” Hanger said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

OGUK updates guidelines for well abandonments

07/23/2015

Oil & Gas UK has released updated guidelines for abandonment of wells, including cost estimates.

MARKET WATCH: Oil futures plunge below $50/bbl

07/23/2015

Light, sweet crude oil futures prices plunged lower to settle below $50/bbl on the New York market on July 22.

Cornyn calls for more US energy exports in wake of Iran deal

07/23/2015 US Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said it would be geopolitically, economically, and strategically absurd for the US to maintain outmode...

Post-sanctions Iran initially won’t shake markets up, executive says

07/22/2015 Iran’s resumption of oil and gas exports, once sanctions are lifted under the recently negotiated nuclear limits agreement, probably won’t flood gl...

UAE easing gasoline, diesel price controls

07/22/2015

The United Arab Emirates is moving prices of gasoline and diesel toward deregulation effective Aug. 1.

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices gain on expected weekly supply decline

07/22/2015 Light, sweet crude oil prices settled modestly above $50/bbl on the New York market on July 21, gaining support from a stronger dollar and from exp...

BLM extends comment period for Colorado oil, gas project’s EA

07/21/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management has extended the comment period for a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) of a proposed oil and gas project ...

Study looks at gas transmission, storage sites’ methane releases

07/21/2015 A comprehensive study of US natural gas transmission and storage operations found total methane emissions from 2,292 on-site measurements, addition...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price for August briefly dips below $50/bbl

07/21/2015 Light, sweet crude oil prices briefly dropped below $50/bbl on the New York market on July 20 for the first time since April but regained some supp...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected