As of May, 2010 there were more than 6,000 leases that have been signed in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. It is one of the hotspots in Marcellus shale development located in the northeastern section of the state. There are 488,320 acres of land in the county.
Most of these leases were signed in areas north of Honesdale, covering a broad swathe of the northern section of the county including the townships and boroughs of Bethany, Buckingham, Scott, Clinton, Damascus, Dyberry, Lebanon, Manchester, Mount Pleasant, Oregon, Preston, and Starrucca.
In January, 2009 there was a report of seismic testing being conducted by Dawson Geophysical Co. in Wayne County and environs. The study area seemed to stretch north to Lakewood and Equinunk and south to Owego Turnpike by Canaan Township, and stretching for miles along the Turnpike from Hawley to Cherry Ridge. Also, Texas Township's Beech Grove Road was included. Other areas mentioned are Route 590 in Paupack Township, in Lakewood Routes 247 and 370, and a region southeast of Lake Wallenpaupack in Pike County that encompasses Blooming Grove Twp. The report also mentions that testing would be conducted north to the border with New York State and as far as the Borough of Milford in Pike County, Pennsylvania.
Chesapeake Appalachia, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp., holds the lion’s share of the leases - nearly 1,500 in all. Update #1: Pursuant to the joint venture formed between Chesapeake and Statoil-Hydro, these leases, according to a September, 2009 report, had all been modified to include Statoil's 32.5 percent ownership interest. Update #2: According to an October, 2009 report, Chesapeake's leasehold in Wayne County is approximately 100,000 acres.
- Exco-North Coast Energy owns 124 of the leases.
- Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. owns 67 leases.
- Stone Energy Corp. has 74 of the leases.
There was a report in January, 2009 of Chesapeake applying for a drilling permit for a well in Oregon Township near Fox Hill Road. According to later reports, drilling commenced there sometime between March and May, 2009. It was only Wayne County's second well. In July, 2009 there was a spectacular rig collapse at this site. No injuries were reported.
590 of Chesapeake's leases in the County had been transferred to Statoil-Hydro as part of the one third buy-out deal negotiated in November, 2008.
In August 2009 there was a report of Hess Corp having leased 62,000 acres from The Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance. That represented 12.7% of the acreage in the county.
As of May, 2010, reportedly very little drilling activity had taken place in the county. Drilling there requires approval from the Delaware River Basin Commission, and so far the Commission had been reluctant to grant the necessary approvals except on an extremely limited basis. Only test wells have so far have been allowed in Delaware River watershed areas.