Encana to finish drilling at Luzerne gas test well

By Elizabeth Skrapits (Staff Writer)
Published: October 18, 2010

Encana to finish drilling at Luzerne gas test well

Encana Oil & Gas USA Inc. is preparing to wrap up drilling operations soon at the company’s – and Luzerne County’s – second exploratory natural gas well.

According to an update from Encana, drilling is nearly complete at the Salansky site on Zosh Road in Lake Twp.

“We installed additional directional signs and turning points leading in and from this location to remind anyone working on behalf of Encana to follow the approved ingress and egress,” the company’s newsletter states.

The Lake Twp. well is Encana’s second. The first – not only for the company, but for Luzerne County – at the Buda property off Route 118 in Fairmount Twp., has already been drilled.

However, Encana has not scheduled completion, which includes hydraulic fracturing, for either well. Hydraulic fracturing involves blasting millions of gallons of water at high pressure deep underground to break up the shale rock and release the gas.

Due to the dry conditions over the summer, some natural gas companies, including Encana, had their sources of water put temporarily off-limits by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which regulates large water withdrawals from all sources within the river’s watershed. Those withdrawal bans were lifted by the commission after the rainy weather recently experienced by the region.

Another of Encana’s projects is starting to take shape. The company is building what it calls the Alimar natural gas processing facility at 44 Hartman Road in Fairmount Twp. This facility will process the natural gas and get it into the nearby Transco pipeline to be sent to market. Encana reports that Alimar site preparation is complete and foundation con­- struction has started.

The company is also planning more wells. Encana has received permission for 10 new wells from Luzerne County, and has state approval for half of them so far.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is still reviewing Encana’s plans for five new wells on the 4-P Realty property on Loyalville Road in Lake Twp. DEP has already granted Encana permits for four horizontal wells and one vertical well in Fairmount Twp., on the property of William Kent.

So far the only DEP violation Encana has committed has been administrative; the company failed to file the required production reports on time – even though the wells are not yet producing any gas. The company has since remedied the oversight and is now in compliance.

Contact the writer: eskrapits@citizensvoice.com

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Copyright:  The Scranton Times