East Resources Responds to Wall Street Journal Article
BOCA RATON, Fla., April 2, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla., April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --On April 2, 2013, the Wall
Street Journal published an article entitled, "As Big Drillers Move In, Safety
Goes Up." The article featured a number of statements about East Resources,
Inc. ("East") and its environmental compliance record with respect to the
Marcellus Shale well program conducted prior to the sale of East's
Pennsylvania assets in July of 2010 to an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell.
East would like to correct a number of inaccuracies and provide additional
information about its Marcellus Shale program.
East's active development of the Marcellus Shale began in 2008 and concluded
in July of 2010 upon the asset sale to Shell. It was East's top priority to
conduct its operations as a good corporate citizen, contributing to the
economy and local communities, while striving to protect the environment and
personal and public safety. Consistent with that philosophy, in 2009, East
made a $750,000 contribution to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to
provide funds to create a network of remote water quality monitoring stations
in areas of the basin where East's (and other operator's) Marcellus Shale
development was most active. The objective of the monitoring network was to
verify whether natural gas development activity was causing adverse impacts on
water quality. This donation earned East the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact
Commission's Chairman's Stewardship Award, representing the IOGCC's highest
honor for exemplary efforts by the oil and gas industry in environmental
East was a founding member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition ("MSC"). East
suggested the creation of and chaired the MSC's Stray Gas task force, a group
that was commissioned to review and set standards for well construction and
operational practices that would seek to prevent any migration of natural gas
from wells. While its Marcellus Shale program was active, East:
oInstituted a practice of installing monitoring wells on its well pads in
order to protect the integrity of local water resources.
oEngaged an independent environmental consultant to perform inspections of
East's well locations in order to insure environmentally safe management
of water, waste water, drilling fluids, and fuel and compliance with
environmental regulations. In 2010, this engagement represented an annual
cost to East of over $1 million.
oActively participated in industry groups and activities aimed at
responsible development of the Marcellus Shale.
During East's period of development, its operations were frequently inspected
by personnel from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ("PA
DEP"). A significant number of inspections were completed with a "no
violation" result. It is important to note that Notices of Violation were
almost always the result of unintentional and undesired occurrences and many
were minor administrative oversights.
East, through its internal environmental and regulatory compliance personnel,
responded to all notices of violations in a deliberate and responsive
manner. During the relevant period the regulatory framework was evolving and
was subject to interpretation. Where indicated, East made significant and
permanent changes to its operational methods while working closely with
representatives of the PA DEP. There were also instances in which East
vigorously contested the notices. There were no long term environmental
issues associated with East's Marcellus Shale development.
The article mentions the storage of wastewater in lined pits. At the time the
practice was utilized by East, it was an acceptable and compliant method of
containing wastewater. As a result of an internal review of its own
practices, East stopped using pits well in advance of the asset sale to
Shell. The article states that East had approximately two violations for
every Marcellus Shale well it drilled. East is not privy to the data that the
Wall Street Journal reviewed, but East's own tabulation indicates that the
correct ratio is actually less than one violation for every well drilled.
The facts cited in this statement belie the notion that East ever put profit
ahead of sound environmental practices. East's experience, knowledge and
leadership paved the way for the safe and environmentally responsible
development of the Marcellus Shale. Many of the larger companies that have
moved to Pennsylvania during the past five years are now benefiting from the
groundbreaking work that East helped pioneer.
Finally, Mr. Pegula declined an interview request made immediately prior to
the Easter Holiday and during the lead up to the National Hockey League trade
deadline as the request was untimely under the circumstances.
Contact: Scott Blauvelt -- 724-935-8948
SOURCE East Resources, Inc.
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