As of the beginning of October, 3,644 leases had been recorded during 2008 in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. The county, located on the New York border in the northeastern part of the state, is considered to be a honeyspot of the Marcellus shale development and has one of the thickest areas of the formation. It led Pennsylvania in Marcellus drilling permits during 2009. As of July, 2010, 25 percent of the Marcellus wells drilled to date in Pennsylvania had been in Bradford Co. Most of the development is focused in the western part of the county with a little bit in the east. Along with Susquehanna Co., it was one of two Pennsylvania counties with highest Marcellus shale production in 2010.
Chesapeake became county's largest leaseholder in 2008
Chesapeake Energy recorded 2,018 gas leases during 2008, which is by far is the largest number from any one company. Chesapeake continued to be very active during 2009. For example, according to a June, 2009 report, Chesapeake submitted an additional 70 applications for drilling permits alone during the month of May. By way of comparison, a separate report gave an overall total number of permits approved up through April, 2009 by all companies as having been 229.
Leasing by other companies
Other gas exploration companies and the number of leases during 2008 were:
- Chief Exploration & Development LLC: 627
- Elexco Land Services Inc.: 199
- Range Resources: 172 - (Update 4/2009 - 40,000 acres under lease)
- East Resources Inc.: 162
- EOG Resources Inc.: 111
- Fortuna Energy Inc.: 100
- Great Lakes Energy Partners: 49
- Vavco: 12
As of June, 2009, 10 companies were competing for leases in the county, and 83% of its land had been leased.
Sixfold increase in 2009 activity
By year-end 2008, 63 Marcellus shale drilling permits had been issued in Bradford County. 17 wells had been drilled. By year-end 2009, 113 wells had been drilled representing more than a sixfold increase in numbers over the previous year. 430 drilling permits were issued for 2009 thus making Bradford County ground zero for Marcellus shale drilling. During January, 2010, 29 permits were issued making Bradford a top county for permits issued--second only to Tioga County.
A March, 2010 news account mentioned that 26 wells had been drilled in February, 2010 according to DEP statistics. It had been the highest monthly total since drilling had begun in the county. The second highest month had been December, 2009 when 17 wells were drilled. 2,792 permits had been issued since DEP began surveying Bradford permits in 2005. The 26 wells in February broke down as follows in the various county townships:
Township Wells Company Albany 1 Chesapeake Armenia 7 Talisman Canton 6 " Columbia 6 " Springfield 1 EOG Towanda 1 Chesapeake Troy 3 Talisman Tuscarora 1 Chesapeake
According to a May, 2010 news item, 430 permits had been issued in 2009, and 113 of these wells were drilled. During 2010, 264 permits had been issued to date. Over 700 outstanding permits were awaiting drilling in the county.
Update #1:A June, 2010 report mentioned that 81 wells had been drilled year-to-date and 367 permits had been issued. 123 permits had been issued alone in March.
Update #2:According to an early September, 2010 news account, 15 new Marcellus wells were drilled during August, 2010 bringing the total number operating in the county to 228. 8 of the new ones had been in Wells Twp. 40 wells were drilled in July.
Update #3:A February, 2012 news account indicated that according to PDEP there were 370 producing Marcellus wells in the county at the end of 2011, the most of any county in the state.<ref>Langley, Karen "Production rises from Marcellus gas wells", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA, 17 February 2012. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.</ref>
Update #4:A Narch, 2012 report indicated that 1,008 Marcellus wells had been drilled in the county since 2007. It is unknown why (according to the previous update) so few of the total number drilled actually appear to be producing, unless many of the wells have never been completed and connected to gathering lines.<ref>Begos, Kevin "Most of Pa. Marcellus gas drilling in 11 counties", Coshocton Tribune, Coshocton, OH, 14 March 2012. Retrieved on 2012-03-14.</ref>