Pennsylvania DEP lets Cabot resume work at Dimock wells

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection gave Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. permission to resume activities at seven Dimock area wells it has drilled. The Aug. 21 action came after the Houston independent demonstrated that the wells fully complied with state laws, their mechanical integrity was sound, and the wells are not contributing to previously discovered methane migration, a DEP spokesman said.

The agency has not cleared Cabot to resume drilling new wells in the area, he added. If data indicate that the methane’s source has been eliminated or that methane in the aquifer has been returned to background levels, DEP’s consent order and agreement provides that Cabot could do so, the spokesman told OGJ by e-mail on Aug. 22.

Work had been suspended while the US Environmental Protection Agency investigated complaints from several Dimock homeowners that gas had migrated from Cabot’s wells into their private water systems. EPA’s Region 3 office in Philadelphia completed sampling of the wells on July 25 and found no significant levels of contaminants requiring further action.

A Cabot spokesman in Pennsylvania said the company was pleased with DEP’s decision. “After taking all the appropriate steps, Cabot will proceed with our operations to add these wells to the high-producing, clean energy output of Susquehanna County,” he said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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