Marcellus Briefs

Cultural preservation discussed at forum

Industry representatives came together with cultural heritage preservationists in Pittsburgh, Pa., in March to collaborate on ways to protect historic sites uncovered near drilling operations.

Mark Boling, vice-chair of The Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP), said: "GAPP is an important effort to solve problems before they happen because no one wants to accidentally destroy a Native American cemetery or a colonial site."

The summit, organized by GAPP, featured working groups that discussed the need for technology to identify cultural sites before exploration begins, and the value of establishing a voluntary set of best practices for addressing these sites once they are found.

Chuck Niquette, board chair for GAPP, said: "All our attendees share a couple of important values. They want to preserve our shared heritage and they know the value of encouraging the natural gas industry to do their work."

The Society of American Archaeology estimates that 40,000 archaeological sites can be found in the Marcellus shale.

Conference attendees included representatives from Shell Oil Co., Chevron Corp., Range Resources Corp., and Southwestern Energy Co.

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