Scott Detrow is a congressional correspondent for NPR. He also co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast.
Detrow joined NPR in 2015 to cover the presidential election. He focused on the Republican side of the 2016 race, spending time on the campaign trail with Donald Trump, and also reported on the election's technology and data angles.
Detrow worked as a statehouse reporter for member stations WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and KQED in San Francisco, California. He has also covered energy policy for NPR's StateImpact project, where his reports on Pennsylvania's hydraulic fracturing boom won a DuPont-Columbia and national Edward R. Murrow Award in 2013.
Total drilling locations by county
Here’s one more visualization from this month’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission report.
A graphic on page 35 shows drilling activity during the first six months of 2011, broken down by county. A few things jump out.
First, while 32 counties host gas wells, the bulk of activity is still taking place in a handful of drilling-heavy counties. More than 60 percent of the 739 wells drilled between January and June were located in the five busiest counties — Bradford, Tioga, Washington, Susquehanna, and Greene. Bradford and Tioga Counties alone are responsible for nearly 40 percent of 2011 drilling activity. Here’s a proportional symbols map of wells drilled:
The second takeaway is the disparity between permits acquired and wells drilled. The following map shows permits issued this year, by county.
The data serves as a reminder that permits aren’t necessarily a good indication of how much drilling is going on in a county. Energy companies have filed for 339 permits in Bradford County this year, for example, but have only drilled 173 new wells. Nearly a thousand permits went through in Washington County, with just 78 wells beginning operations.
That disparity aside, the same usual suspects – Washington, Bradford and Tioga Counties — are leading the pack, when it comes to permits issued. Susquehanna and Lycoming round out the top five.