Consol unveils plans for gas drilling at airport
The company said that it hopes to begin constructing well sites and pipelines in the spring of 2014.
By Kevin Begos
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH — Consol Energy on Tuesday released details of its plan to drill for natural gas at the Pittsburgh International Airport, a deal officials hope will yield hundreds of millions of dollars for Allegheny County.
The company said that it hopes to begin constructing well sites and pipelines in the spring of 2014. Consol, which is based outside of Pittsburgh, plans to use six well pads to drill a total of 47 Marcellus Shale wells at the airport.
"This project represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to generate significant economic benefits for the residents of Allegheny County," Consol president Nicholas J. DeIuliis said in a statement. "We intend to make it a flagship for the region that everyone can be proud of."
About 17 miles of pipeline will also be constructed to deliver gas to market.
In February the Allegheny County Airport Authority approved the deal with Consol, which paid a signing bonus of $50 million. Officials hope royalties will total $450 million over the next 20 years.
Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald called the plan "a huge public works project" and said revenues from the drilling will benefit taxpayers and the airport, and lead to additional jobs and growth for the region. The gas-rich Marcellus extends below parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and New York.
A public meeting on the plan will be held at the Airport Marriott from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Officials plan to discuss environmental impacts and how the public can comment on the proposal.
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