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DEP increases gas well permit fees

A natural gas drilling site in Susquehanna County.

Marie Cusick/StateImpact Pennsylvania

A natural gas drilling site in Susquehanna County.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is raising the permit fees gas companies pay for unconventional wells.
The increase will raise an additional $4.7 million in revenue, which will be used to hire more staff in DEP’s office of Oil and Gas Management.
“Under the Corbett administration, there has been a strategic, proactive approach to the oversight of this industry,” DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said in a statement. “The efforts to date have been unprecedented, and this fee increase will give us the ability to continue to grow and strengthen our program along with the growing industry.”
Gas industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, supports the increase.
“We’ve done so over the course of the past several years and certainly support this increase as well,” says spokesman Travis Windle. “We don’t believe taxpayers should be responsible these costs.”
For unconventional wells, the price will increase by about $1,800, for a total of $5,000.  For vertical natural gas wells it goes up $1,300 and will cost $4,200. Fees for conventional gas operators won’t change.
Previously, the price varied based on the length of the well bore. The new fees take effect June 14.

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