Energy. Environment. Economy.

Gas drilling impact fee revenue up 11 percent this year

The state expects to bring in $224.5 million in impact fee revenue from natural gas drillers this year.

Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY

The state expects to bring in $224.5 million in impact fee revenue from natural gas drillers this year.

Pennsylvania expects to collect $224.5 million in impact fees levied on natural gas drilling companies this year– an 11 percent increase over the amount collected last year.

The state’s 2012 oil and gas law, Act 13, charges drillers for each well. The fee can range from $40,000 to $60,000 per well, depending on the price of natural gas.

This year, drillers paid $50,000 for new horizontal wells– up from $45,000 last year because the price of gas increased. Smaller, vertical wells paid $10,000.

The state Public Utility Commission (PUC) is charged with collecting and distributing the fee. Spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says there were approximately 1,200 new wells drilled in 2013.

“The vast majority of the wells were horizontal wells,” she says.

Range Resources paid the most this year ($27,992,000) followed by Chesapeake Energy ($26,727,950) and Shell ($17,004,450).

The fee declines over time and drillers continue to pay for 15 years.

Governor Corbett issued a statement noting the success of the law, which has brought in $630 million to the state so far.

“We are building a stronger Pennsylvania by harnessing our abundant resources to create jobs for working families, reinvest in our local communities, and protect our environment for generations to come,” Corbett said.

Approximately $25 million stays at the state level and goes to agencies impacted by the natural gas boom, like the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Of the remaining revenue, 60 percent goes back to local governments hosting drilling operations, and 40 percent goes to the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which is disbursed to municipalities throughout the state for environmental and infrastructure projects.

The Pennsylvania division of the American Petroleum Industry touted the amount of money drillers are spending in the state.

“The oil and natural gas industry is investing in communities, providing new revenue for the government and delivering a long-term path to new jobs for Pennsylvania workers,” said executive director Stephanie Catarino Wissman in a statement.

A recent analysis by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office found Pennsylvania has one of the lowest effect tax rates on natural gas production in the country. The report compared Pennsylvania’s impact fee against the more common severance taxes in other states, which are based on gas production volumes.

The analysis was criticized by the Corbett administration and the gas industry for excluding certain types of taxes, including corporate income tax.

The impact fee has already become an issue in the current race for governor. Corbett’s Democratic challengers have called for various severance taxes on gas production, which many have vowed to spend on public education.

Corbett has said the current fee structure is best because it keeps much of the money at the local level for communities dealing with the impacts of drilling operations.

Municipalities are required to report how they spent last year’s impact fee money to the PUC by April 15.

Here’s how much each company paid:

Show rows.
SWEPI LP$17004450$17004450
TALISMAN ENERGY USA INC$13978150$13978150
CHEVRON APPALACHIA LLC$13432450$13432450
CABOT OIL & GAS CORP$13277000$13277000
EQT PRODUCTION CO$12506350$12506350
ANADARKO E&P CO LP$12292700$12292700
CNX GAS CO LLC$8807500$8807500
XTO ENERGY INC$7429950$7429950
CHIEF OIL & GAS LLC$6813600$6813600
PA GEN ENERGY CO LLC$5687750$5687750
EOG RESOURCES INC$5448750$5448750
EXCO RESOURCES PA LLC$4509500$4509500
CARRIZO (MARCELLUS) LLC$3685100$3685100
RE GAS DEV LLC$3420950$3420950
ENERGY CORP OF AMER$2779100$2779100
RICE DRILLING B LLC$1886400$1886400
ATLAS RESOURCES LLC$1735850$1735850
ULTRA RESOURCES INC$1622800$1622800
HILCORP ENERGY CO$1451500$1451500
ALPHA SHALE RES LP$1259700$1259700
CITRUS ENERGY CORP$1221700$1221700
NOBLE ENERGY INC$880950$880950
TRIANA ENERGY LLC$480800$480800
TENASKA RES LLC$330550$330550
HALCON OPR CO INC$310350$310350
SNYDER BROS INC$223250$222650
EM ENERGY PA LLC$170300$170300
BURNETT OIL CO INC$160250$160000
STONE ENERGY CORP$120200$120200
ENERPLUS RES (USA) CORP$100150$100150
CAMPBELL OIL & GAS INC$100100$100100
SM ENERGY CO$90150$90150
BLX INC$46350$46350
MDS ENERGY LTD$38250$38250

Source: Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission


  • Vera Scroggins

    With all this supposed “windfall” impact fees, we , in Susquehanna County, Pa., have the worst roads in over 20 years and we still program cuts from the State ; Our county spent some of our impact monies of $32.000 on a fire-alarm system in our county jail and spent $42,000 on software for Emergency services….meanwhile, we have families who need clean, potable water who lost their water to gas drilling contamination and that is totally overlooked even though we have asked for help !!

    • FrackDaddy

      Didn’t we prove that we don’t care about you or what you think! You also forgot to mention our taxes went down close to 20%, And if you have lived here all your live you will know what an impact a Winter/Spring like we had will destroy the roads, And that a drive into NY there roads are the same! Just more lies from the “Grandmother Activist”. Also can you tell how in January your offer from Cabot was insulting, But when the judge gave the same ruling it was a win? The Propaganda Machine moves on!

      • Vera Scroggins

        our county taxes went down 2% !! you lie again and libel those who stand up for the harmed; come meet your neighbors who are suffering and be a Mensch….the Judge’s ruling was different than Cabot’s offer. you lie again !

        • FrackDaddy

          Lmao, Goes to prove what a true resident of Susquehanna County you are! Do you even own your home? Or do you not pay your taxes? If the tax rate is 10.83 mills and we got a 2 mill break from Act 13 That is just under 20% Ten times what you claim! Who’s Fibbing Now?

          Libel Who? And How? Calling you out for your BS you spew is not Libel. I would like to see Cabot and WPX go after you for libel.
          And please correct me with the differences from the January offer to Kens decision? Speaking of liars didn’t you say that the January offer never happened? Everyday more and more people see the true “Grandmother Activist”. I look forward to your response, which I am sure will not come…..

          • Vera Scroggins

            nothing more can be said to you; you misrepresent, distort and lie; those who can check out the facts will know; you have yet to say something correctly about my case….

          • FrackDaddy

            Classic response, When you have been caught red handed! NO rebuttal, an insult and The always present “I am Smarter than you response”
            I asked you to educate me on my “misinterpretation” of your agreement. Which you refuse to do? Why is that?
            And PS I pay my taxes and can subtract the 2014 number from the 2013 number and divide the difference by the 2013 number and get the decrease.

          • Donald Roessler

            Seems you like to misrepresent, distort, and lie Vera.


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