Two companies – EQT and Consol – have submitted bids to drill for natural gas at Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport.
Allegheny County owns the land at both facilities, and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald sees the drilling revenue as a way to alleviate airline expenses at the underused Pittsburgh International Airport. “Will that bring every airline here all at once?” Fitzgerald told KDKA, “No. But it can be part of an incentive – part of a package – about lowering the cost, lowering the cost of operation in locating here.”
EQT Production Company submitted a per-acre lease bonus bid of $4,750, while Consol Energy offered a per-acre lease bonus of $2,250.
The lease bonus would be applied to 9,263 acres of Allegheny County-owned land at the two airports, meaning that the EQT bid could generate $44 million in upfront payments to the county’s airport authority. The Consol bid would provide $20.8 million in upfront payments.
Lease bonus payments would be in addition to ongoing royalties of 18 percent being sought by the authority on all gas, oil and hydrocarbons produced by the drilling.
The Consol bid was accompanied by a $2 million check, representing a deposit of 10 percent on its lease bonus bid. EQT did not provide a deposit.