Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, Republican Congressman Tim Murphy, and Democratic County Executive Rich Fitzgerald were all present during the Monday launch of natural gas drilling next to the Pittsburgh International Airport.
Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy is expected to spend $500 million to drill oil and gas from a 9,000 acre parcel at the Pittsburgh airport. The company – which started drilling ten days ago – intends to sink 47 new wells from six drilling pads in the next few years in order to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale, which is approximately 7,000ft underground, reported Washington Times.
Consol President and CEO Nick Deluliius, called it a “vast economic opportunity for the entire region.”
“When you talk about public-private partnerships and the benefits such partnerships can generate, I believe this venture is and will be the gold standard,” Deluliius said at a ceremony marking Consol’s 150th anniversary and the start of drilling. “We intend to honor our 150-year legacy in this region by ensuring that this project is a model for safe and responsible shale gas development here in Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.”
The project is expected to earn Allegheny County Airport Authority royalties worth at least $500 million. The Authority has already used the first $50 million in payments to lower airline rates, which in turn will lower operating costs for airlines serving Pittsburgh International Airport.
“A lower cost airport makes us more competitive,” Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “Lower costs make us much more competitive with airlines, to bring more flights in.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said the airport drilling “allows us to be energy leaders not just in the country, but in the world” while responsibly harvesting the Commonwealth’s energy resources.
“Thanks to our ‘all of the above-and below’ energy strategy that is leading the way toward American energy independence, companies like Consol are investing in Pennsylvania and are creating family-sustaining jobs,” he’d said.
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