On the big question of whether this will slow down hydraulic fracturing, the Patriot-News’ Don Gilliland reported, “unclear.”
It’s too soon to say drilling will slow down because most operators plan for such natural occurrences, understand the rules and have water stored for such cases, said a spokesman for theMarcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group.
The suspensions do, however, highlight one of the advantages of recycling waste water from drilling to use in other wells: not only does it keep the waste out of the rivers, it diminishes the industry’s dependence on good weather for its operations.
Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Klaber said, “Our industry continues to recycle and reuse an ever-increasing portion of water required to produce clean-burning, American natural gas, and closely monitors our water use to be good partners with the SRBC in water management.”
The Tribune-Review’s Laura Legere tracked down an operator who uses one of the impacted tributaries:
Frank McIntyre, operations manager for Susquehanna Gas Field Services in Wyoming County, said the company’s Meshoppen Creek withdrawal site was put on hold last week.
Under normal conditions the company is permitted to withdraw 100,000 gallons daily from the creek in Meshoppen. The company’s second approved source in the basin, an artesian well in the borough, is not affected, he said.
“It would be nice if it would rain every day for a little bit,” he said. “It affects how we can take care of our customers.”
The restrictions will remain in place until water levels rise, and stay elevated for at least 48 hours.