Based on 2011 natural gas prices, drillers will pay $50,000 for every horizontal well “spudded” before 2012, and $10,000 for each vertical well.
According to StateImpact Pennsylvania’s projections, which are based off the Department of Environmental Protection’s latest “spud report,” the fee will generate more than $200 million, with nearly $50 million coming from Bradford County, alone.
60 percent of the revenue will stay at the county and municipal level, with 36 percent of the local pot going to counties, and rest distributed among townships and municipalities. That means Bradford County would keep about $10.5 million of its 2011 collection, if it chooses to enact a fee within its borders. On the low end of the spectrum, Lackawanna County will generate $2,000 from two vertical wells, and keep about $4,000 for county use.
A disclaimer: our estimate is about $20 million higher than the projections distributed to legislators, which are based on about 3,500 spudded wells. We found about 300 additional wells in the DEP spud report. Some of those may no longer be active. It’s impossible to tell from the state’s database.