More wells have been drilled in Bradford County than any other county in Pennsylvania.
The shale boom has profoundly changed Bradford County’s towns, bringing a population boom, driving up rents and filling hotel rooms. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, it was nearly impossible to find an empty hotel room in Bradford County. The county took in more than $8 million in 2012 impact fee revenue, too.
Bradford’s boom began to slow down this year, though. As natural gas prices declined, energy companies shifted their attention to Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, where the gas contains profitable byproducts like ethane and butane. The focus on “wet gas” caused the rate of drilling to slow down in Bradford County – that means more hotel rooms and less traffic on its congested roads, among other changes.
Many landowners, especially struggling dairy farmers, have benefited from leasing their land to the gas industry. But several people in Bradford County have seen their private water wells contaminated by stray methane gas.