Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

http://www.wdtv.com/wdtv.cfm?func=view&a...der-to-Stop2295

Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop
Written by Your 5News Team

DARLINGTON, Pa. (AP) - A gas drilling company is refusing to obey a cease-and-desist order issued by a western Pennsylvania township.

Darlington Township Solicitor Garen Fedeles says Chesapeake Energy is ignoring the stop work order issued last Friday by a zoning officer.

Fedeles says town supervisors have approved taking the case to a civil court to seek fines against the company. Fedeles says Chesapeake has submitted an application for the drilling but hasn't obtained the permit yet.

Chesapeake spokesperson Jacque Bland says the company, based in Oklahoma City, believes it has a valid lease on the land and is thus entitled to drill. The company has also offered to discuss the issue further with the township, which is about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 10:52 PM
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

Wish the article had more info. What are they supposed to "cease-and-desist" ? If they don't have the permit to drill, then I would guess they are not drilling. If they were, then DEP would shut it down.

I am going to guess that they are building a pad for drilling, and that is what it pertains to.

When it come's to lease's, Gas Comp's have been down this road several times before, CHK must feel confident that the lease is in order.....I guess time will tell. If you come accross more info on this in the coming days/weeks, please post it.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

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Originally Posted by buzz
Wish the article had more info. What are they supposed to "cease-and-desist" ? If they don't have the permit to drill, then I would guess they are not drilling. If they were, then DEP would shut it down.
Apparently they don't have the conditional use permit, so they were ordered to cease and desist all operations - Tree cutting, grading, and drilling despite the fact there is no well pad yet... If I recall correctly this lease was due to expire shortly hence the rush. CHK's stance is they applied for the conditional use permit and that should be good enough. Try telling that to a contractor who has been held up waiting for permits. I guess CHK doesn't feel they should be held to the local zoning. There is more info at the following link:

http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12109/1225121-503-0.stm
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 11:48 PM
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

Please the fines will be allot less then the loss of revenue. Who wouldn't pay 100k to make a million

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 11:54 PM
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

Just a guess here...but....I would say CHK feels the lease is solid, or they would not be drilling a well that cost a few million.

I would also venture a guess that they are willing to pay the fines associated with the zoning violation, in order to drill the well and hold the land by production???

As far as the land owner and the lawsuit claiming they were tricked by a landman......good luck with that. I have no doubt the landman was a smooth talker, but they signed a legal document, apparently without consulting a attorney, or finding another method to completly understand what they were signing. I feel bad for them, but I doubt they have much of a chance of winning.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

That's the mentality that has a lot of people concerned. "We don't have to play by the rules because we'll just pay your fines and be done with it."
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

I don't feel bad for the leaseholder at all. If they didn't understand it, they should have sought council.

The zoning issue on the other hand I see as a blatant thumb nosing to the township. CHK twice prior had applied for the permitting but cancelled both meetings. I don't understand why Chesapeake didn't just use the force majeur clause to keep the lease alive. I suppose the problem with that had something to do with the Indiana Bats and no tree cutting allowed between April and November. Although CHK did try to get the leaseholder to reaffirm in 2010 so it really shouldn't have been an issue. (They did have 2 years to get this rolling)

I'm also not convinced that drilling without a constructed well pad is a brilliant idea.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 12:58 PM
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

The way I read it, I don't think they have drilled yet? Keep in mind, they can go in and drill a shallow vertical well , HPB the land, then come back later, drill the Marcellus well, and plug the shallow well.

I guess we can specualate all day, but there are certainly legal reasons for the path they are choosing. Not saying I agree, but would need to know all the reasons before passing judgement. I am not saying I agree with them ignoring the zoning laws, just need to know all the reasons.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzz
The way I read it, I don't think they have drilled yet?
"Chesapeake went in and cut the bat trees" in the final days of March, said James Brink, an attorney for the McRoberts family. "Since that time they have graded a road, cut down more trees and started drilling."

Read more: http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12109...#ixzz1sUiwv8QP
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 01:13 PM
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Re: Gas Driller Refuses Western Pa. Order to Stop

<span style="font-weight: bold">Fedeles says Chesapeake has submitted an application for the drilling but hasn't obtained the permit yet.</span>

I had to go back and read the above statement. I miss read it the first time. I thought it meant that they had not obtained a DEP permit for the well......my bad.

I was thinking they would not be drilling without the DEP permit.

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