Earlier today, we took you on a tour of the Drake Well Museum, which documents the world’s first oil well. During our interview, I asked curator Sue Bates when western Pennsylvania’s oil boom had ended. “Well, we’re booming again,” was her response.
And Bates is right. This summer, Crawford County got its first shale well: a 7,000-foot deep hole tapping into the Utica Shale. The site is located about 30 miles away from the Crawford County location where Edwin Drake drilled the world’s first oil well.
…Until now, the Utica and Marcellus formations were largely untapped in the uppermost corner of northwestern Pennsylvania and a broad swath that included more than 20 counties in the southeastern part of the state.
That changed this summer, at least in Crawford County, when rigs and crews working for Texas-based Range Resources arrived in this rural township of about 850 people.
Range Resources, which developed some of the state’s first successful wells into the Marcellus Shale, drilled the Crawford County well in July, and is prepared to begin hydrofracturing this week.
That process, sometimes called fracking, uses massive amounts of water and small amounts of sand and chemicals to fracture the rock formation and release the gas trapped in the shale.