Warrendale, Pennsylvania-based East Resources is a privately-held oil and gas exploration and production company. It has a Marcellus shale leasehold in excess of 650,000 net acres in the key southwestern and northeastern Pennsylvania areas of the trend. The company is focusing on northeastern Pennsylvania especially in Potter and Tioga Counties. It's total Appalachian Basin holdings amount to roughly 1,000,000 acres of oil and gas drilling rights.
Update: It was reported at the end of May, 2010 that East Resources had sold all of its business to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion. The sale included all of its net 650,000 acre Marcellus shale leasehold, but not its West Virginia assets. East Resources was to continue on temporarily as East Resources Management, LLC, an affiliate of Shell Oil Company. It was later to be merged into a Shell Oil subsidiary known as Shell Western Exploration and Production, LP. (SWEPI LP).
In September, 2008, a news account mentioned that East was joint venture partner with Ultra Petroleum Corp. in a Potter County, Pennsylvania exploration program. East had a 50% working interest and was well operator. So far, there had been two two Oriskany exploratory wells. One of these had potential production of 5 Mmcf/d. Other wells there were targeting the Marcellus shale.
An October, 2008 report noted that East was buying about 60,000 gallons of water per day from the Borough of Coudersport in Potter County for fracking a well in North Coudersport.
Another October report indicated that East has recorded 162 leases during 2008 with the Bradford County, Pennsylvania Registrar of Deeds.
A November, 2008 report noted that East Resources had leased acreage in Tioga County, the next county east of Potter County. Update: A January, 2010 news account mentioned that East was drilling on the Fitch farm in Roaring Branch, a small village in Union Township, located in the southeast corner of Tioga County, PA. It was mentioned that the Marcellus shale is approximately 200 feet thick here and found at a depth of around 6,500 feet. It is considered to be a "sweet spot" in the formation. The company planned to drill six wells on the pad and were in the process of fracing the first one, the Fitch # 1H. It had been drilled in August, 2009. The well had a depth of 6,500 feet and a horizontal lateral of 4,500 feet. The plan was to use up to 5 million gallons of fracing fluid in the operation. 50 trailers containing 3 million gallons of fluid had been assembled on the site, and 24 truck-mounted pumps were to pump the fluid and approximately 5 million pounds of sand down the well. The estimated cost of the well and its completion were $4 million. At the time of the report the well had been temporarily clogged, but had been cleared by snaking a 2 mile pipe down the well and blowing nitrogen into the clog. The well was to have a slickwater frac.
A second November report noted that East was in the process of drilling on the Hickok farm in Bradford County.
In June, 2009, East Resources announced that the global investment firm, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (aka KKR), had made a significant investment (reportedly, $350 million) in the company in the form of debt which can be converted into a minority equity interest in East. The funds will be used for several purposes including expanding and developing its Marcellus leasehold and building pipeline infrastructure.
A December, 2009 news account stated that East was cooperating with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to help fund a network of 30 water quality monitors to measure stream pollution in Tioga County's drilling areas. The monitors were to act as an early warning system in case of chemical leak or spill to avert fish kills from water pollution and also provide baseline information as to water quality in the Susquehanna River's tributaries. These electronic devices have the capability to continuously monitor and report acidity, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, turbidity, and water temperature. A change in the ability to conduct electricity would be an early marker in case of serious pollution taking place from drilling activities. The monitors also record and measure water depth indicating any rapid changes in the volume of water in the tributaries.
A news account appeared in April, 2010 regarding the hydro-fracturing of an East Resources' well off Mack Road (Cherry Flat Rd.) in Charleston Township, located approximately in the center of Tioga County, PA. Contractor for the frac was Universal Well Services.
East was again in the news in June, 2010 when a drilling waste water containment pit on the Tioga County farm of Don and Carol Johnson leaked into an adjacent field where cattle had been grazing. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture ordered a quarantine of six to eight months on 28 head of cattle due to the possibility of contamination. None of the animals appeared sick, although testing showed the waste water contained barium, calcium, chloride, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfate and strontium. The heavy metal strontium was considered to be toxic--especially for children. The leak apparently developed from a 2-foot rip in the containment pit liner. The company reportedly had moved very quickly to mitigate the issue.
In July, 2010, East was identified in a news account as planning to drill at three locations in Forest, McKean and Jefferson counties all within the bounds of the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). The locations mentioned were:
- in the Glad Run watershed (Forest Co.),
- on FR 444 in the Chaffee Run watershed (headwaters of the South Branch Of Tionesta Creek) (McKean Co.)
- Log Run watershed (East Branch of Millstone Creek) (Jefferson Co.)
East has also been an active driller in the Trenton-Black Rver Play (TBR) in New York State. It sold off its very productive holdings of approximately 250,000 acres in the Watkins Glen area in 2002, but retained some acreage in the Elmira area and has continued to build its leasehold back up to around 75,000 acres that are prospective for TBR. The company plans to continue developing this leasehold and has met with drilling success on it.
Northern Pipeline Company, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of East Resources that owns gathering pipelines extending north from Butler and Clarion Counties in Pennsylvania across Forest, McKean, Venango and Warren counties to the New York State border. It also owns second pipeline stretching south from Butler and Clarion counties to the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border. Northern owns 60 miles of gathering pipelines in Chester, Delaware and Lancaster counties. This East subsidiary owns two gas processing plants in northern Pennsylvania with a total capacity of 20 Mmcf/d.
- Terrence M. Pegula is Founder, President and CEO of East Resources.
- John Sieminski is East’s chief legal counsel.
- Stephen Rhoads is Director of External Affairs.
- Scott Blauvelt is East's Regulatory Compliance Coordinator.
- Paul Dudenas is the company's Manager of Engineering.
- Dale Fidurko is an East petroleum engineer.
- Rick Ford is an East Project Manager.
- Doug Mehan is Assistant Manager of Environmental, Health and Safety.
- Jack Showers is a Community Relations Liaison in northeast Pennsylvania.