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Our look at the
BEST PRODUCTION PAD

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP
WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA


As gas drilling proceeded on Marcellus Shale in southwestern Pennsylvania, we were able to get a more definitive look at gas well drilling, production activities and wastewater handling. The Best Production Pad (Best Unit 1H-7H) near Buffalo, Pennsylvania is one such case study, with photos of early drilling through pipeline installation and natural gas production.

Instead of this drilling site being leased as was usually the case, Range Resources Appalachia owned both the surface property and subsurface gas rights.  By 2014, this industrial acreage had enjoyed five years of Clean & Green county real estate reduced tax treatment.


Best Unit

 

These photos provide an in-depth look at a large gas drilling pad and natural gas production unit on Marcellus Shale. With seven horizontal gas wells initially drilled from the Best Production Pad and Unit, it was once one of the largest on Marcellus Shale. This acreage was purchased by Range Resources Appalachia in January 2009.

  
Rapid production decline curve at Best Unit
  
Range Resources property FOR SALE
September 28, 2012
Range Resources has posted a FOR SALE sign
 
 
The area around WOTRING ROAD in Hopewell Township,
Washington County, Pa is full of gas drilling activity
namely the Best Production Pad owned by Range
  
  
Buffalo, Pa which is home to many picturesque farms
  
  
Gas drilling traffic has destroyed this corner and road sign
  
 
Orange fencing has been laying helter-skelter for months
  
  
Mess on the other side of Wotring Road in someone's front yard
  
  
BEST PRODUCTION PAD AND BEST UNIT 1H - 7H
WOTRING ROAD
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP
WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
  


  

BEST PRODUCTION PAD
Hopewell Township, Washington County
Wotring Road - Buffalo, Pa
GPS: 40.2328 -80.3379

Gas Well Name DEP Permit # Permitted
Best Unit 1H 125-23277 9-9-08
Best Unit 2H 125-23283 9-9-08
Best Unit 3H 125-23282 9-9-08
Best Unit 4H 125-23284 9-9-08
Best Unit 5H 125-23370 11-20-08
Best Unit 6H 125-23368 11-5-08
Best Unit 7H-A 125-23369 11-5-08
Best Unit 7H-A 125-23369 1-12-09

Well Plugging Notice Intent to Plug Single Well

  
   

Source: Pennsylvania DEP Production Reports

Name

Well No.

Product

Vol.

Days

Avg/ Day

End Date

BEST

1H

Gas

706,894

290

2,438

6/30/10

      349,688

184

1,900

12/31/10

   

 

208,361

155

1,344

6/30/11

      204,968

183

1,120

12/31/11

58% drop-off in
31 months

    186,788

182

1,026 6/30/12

61% drop-off in 37 months

    175,524

183

959 12/31/12
64% drop-off in 43 months     153,231

177

866 6/30/2013

BEST

1H

Oil

8,119

260

31

6/30/10

   

Cond.

2,512

184

14

12/31/10

   

Oil

1,734

155

11

6/30/11

      1,507

183

8

12/31/11

      1,366

182

7 6/30/12
      1,117

183

6 12/31/12
    Cond. 1,099

177

6 6/30/2013

BEST

2H

Gas

602,831

267

2,258

6/30/10

      292,151

184

1,588

12/31/10

   

 

230,437

157

1,468

6/30/11

      225,803

184

1,227

12/31/11

51% drop-off in
32 months

    200,320

182

1,101 6/30/12

55% drop-off in 38 months

    185,252

183

1,012 12/31/12
59% drop-off in 44 months     164,131

177

927 6/30/2013

BEST

2H

Oil

8,731

272

32

6/30/10

   

Cond.

3,525

184

19

12/31/10

   

Oil

2,844

157

18

6/30/11

      3,213

184

17

12/31/11

      2,677

182

15 6/30/12
      2,384

183

13 12/31/12
    Cond. 2,336

177

13 6/30/2013

BEST

3H

Gas

589,481

290

2,033

6/30/10

      252,629

184

1,373

12/31/10

   

 

197,714

157

1,259

6/30/11

      158,285

183

865

12/31/11

61.5% drop-off in
33 months

    142,491

182

783 6/30/12

66% drop-off in 39 months

    126,336

183

690 12/31/12
69% drop-off in 45 months     111,114

177

628 6/30/2013

BEST

3H

Oil

4,149

262

16

6/30/10

   

Cond.

638

184

3

12/31/10

   

Oil

531

157

3

6/30/11

      456

183

2

12/31/11

      427

182

2 6/30/12
      261

183

1 12/31/12
    Cond. 256

177

1 6/30/2013

BEST

5H

Gas

456,120

295

1,546

6/30/10

      113,981

183

623

12/31/10

   

 

141,240

165

856

6/30/11

      130,323

183

712

12/31/11

59% drop-off in
33 months

    116,180

182

638 6/30/12

62% drop-off in 39 months

    106,716

183

583 12/31/12
66% drop-off in 45 months     91,866

177

519 6/30/2013

BEST

5H

Oil

4,144

282

15

6/30/10

   

Cond.

478

183

3

12/31/10

   

Oil

833

165

5

6/30/11

      415

183

2

12/31/11

      336

182

2 6/30/12
      275

183

2 12/31/12
    Cond. 272

177

2 6/30/2013

BEST

6H

Gas

556,745

290

1,954

6/30/10

      238,306

184

1,295

12/31/10

   

 

128,390

120

1,070

6/30/11

      145,854

184

793

12/31/11

63.5% drop-off in 32 months

    129,831

182

713 6/30/12

66% drop-off in 38 months

    121,306

183

663 12/31/12
69% drop-off in 44 months     108,542

177

613 6/30/2013

BEST

6H

Oil

4,016

269

15

6/30/10

   

Cond.

886

184

5

12/31/10

   

Oil

332

120

3

6/30/11

      518

184

3

12/31/11

      403

182

2 6/30/12
      278

183

2 12/31/12
    Cond. 272

177

2 6/30/2013

BEST

7H

Gas

556,745

290

1,920

6/30/10

      190,612

183

1,042

12/31/10

   

 

171,909

157

1,095

6/30/11

      97,577

166

588

12/31/11

68.5% drop-off in
32 months

    109,741

182

603 6/30/12

70% drop-off in 38 months

    106,399

183

581 12/31/12
72% drop-off in 44 months     95,419

177

539 6/30/2013

BEST

7H

Oil

4,398

269

16

6/30/10

   

Cond.

1,470

183

8

12/31/10

   

Oil

1,817

157

12

6/30/11

      460

166

3

12/31/11

      522

182

3 6/30/12
      410

183

2 12/31/12
    Cond. 403

177

2 6/30/2013
 
Horizontal gas well drilling on the Best Pad early in 2009
  
  
Diesel powered generators and other equipment on the Best drilling pad
  
  
Logging operations on and around the gas production site
  
  
Logging debris, condensate tanks, office trailer and porta-johns
  
  
Newly installed gas processing equipment
  
 
View of one end of the multi-acre drilling pad and gas production unit
  
  

Battery of six large white condensate tanks
  
  

Metal containment barriers are being installed differently in Washington County than they were in 2008, showing banking of soil for better strength against both sides of the metal containment barriers. These barriers are supposed to hold the complete contents of all the onsite separation tanks.
  
  
Six of the seven gas well heads on the
Best Production Pad prior to fracking
  
  
Some gas well pads like this one in Washington County are being drilled with multiple gas wells. These horizontal or directional wells extend in various directions, like the spokes of a wheel. Depth of these Marcellus Shale wells averages 7,000 feet with the horizontal laterals reaching out another 3,000 feet.
  
  
Close-up of one the gas well heads
  
  
A steady stream of tanker trucks hauls water to the Best site for future hydraulic fracturing work. Each well's frac job can require up to 6-million gallons of water.
  
  
The black nitrile lined containment pond next to the site is being filled with water drawn off local streams. Tankers haul water 24-7. Since this photo was taken, the impoundment has changed from a fresh water impoundment to a recycled frac wastewater impoundment, bringing repeat complaints from neighbors who say this pit smells so bad you can't sit outside in the evening air.
  
  
Gas piping connections sit on the drill pad ready for installation
  
  
   Major fracing activity!
  
  

Buffalo Pennsylvania gas well

Eleven chemicals (out of thirty-two) are listed as "Proprietary"
and do not have CAS numbers:

Best Unit 4H Frac Chemicals
Best Production Pad frac chemicals

 
Gas produced by the Best Unit wells will be sent to market through these newly installed gas lines
  
  
   Flaring the Best Production pad gas wells over Labor Day weekend
  
  
Labor Day 2009 predawn hours
Flare is right next door to this residential property. The neighbor had to put his beagle hunting dogs in the garage (on the right) for several days.
  
  
Flare is putting off a putrid smell like a raunchy outhouse.
Certain to screw-up any Labor Day picnic nearby.
  
  
Bobcat Pressure Control onsite
  
  
   Working under lights at night
  
  
Two flares where one was expected

Video of twin Labor Day flares in Buffalo, Pa
 
 

Armageddon-like scene on Wotring Road
Pre-dawn hours of Labor Day 2009
  
  
Eastern Resource Services on site
  
  

WASHINGTON COUNTY REAL ESTATE TAX INFORMATION
As of OCTOBER 6, 2014
PARCEL NUMBER: 350-012-00-00-0005-00
Deed Book - Page: 200900837
 
NAME: RANGE RESC APPALACHIA   DATE OF LAST SALE  
   1/13/2009

SELLING PRICE
   $331,582.00
NAME: K.E. ANDREWS & CO
ADDRESS: 1900 DALROCK RD
  ROWLETT, TX  75088
LOCATION: 66 WOTRING RD
DISTRICT: 350 (HOPEWELL)
PROPERTY TYPE:   Vacant Agric.(Tillable & Other
DESCRIPTION: 48.291 ACRES & C&G
Assessment Information
 
YEAR CODE LAND BUILDING TOTAL
2015 1 1,800 0 1,800
2014 1 1,800 0 1,800
2013 1 1,800 0 1,800
2012 1 1,800 0 1,800
2011  1 1,800 0 1,800
2010   1 1,800 0 1,800
2009  1 1,800 0 1,800
Billing History
 
Year Control Billed Date Due @ Face
2014 35014-1/ 0 $44.82 1/2/2014 $0.00
2013 35013-1/ 0 $44.82 1/3/2013 $0.00
2012 35012-1/ 0 $44.82 1/3/2012 $0.00
2011 35011-1/ 0 $44.82 1/3/2011 $0.00
2010 35010-1/ 0 $44.82 1/4/2010 $0.00
2009 35009-1/ 0 $38.52 1/2/2009 $0.00

 

In 2014, this parcel of land (48 acres) containing all these industrial grade activities still enjoyed "Agricultural" zoning with very favorable "Clean & Green" tax treatment, paying only $44.82 in Washington County taxes!

  
  
Two of the seven gas well heads on this Wotring Road site
  
  
ERS equipment
  
  
Impoundment next to the Best Production Pad.
Flaring caught the black nitrile liner on fire.
The arrow indicates where it was replaced.
  
Photos of Labor Day frac pit fire
  
Sediment marks the black liner showing higher fluid levels.
Neighbors say the smell varies from kerosene to sewage to ammonia.
"It takes your breath away," said one.
  
  
Yellow arrow shows where the fluid level reached the spillway.
Where did the fluids go, a local creek?
  
  
Baker tanks and other gas well equipment
     
  
"Any person entering these premises has the authority to STOP any unsafe act or point out any potential hazard which may exist."
  
  
Stallion tanker drawing out fluids
  
   
Looking across the site toward the impoundment
   
   
How would you like to live in this house next door? Drilling knocked out their water well, so Range had to drill them a new one.
  
  
Painting valves and pipes
  
  
Looking over the painting project
  
  
Stallion tanker truck
Stallion tanker truck emptying the large green
fluid container on the production pad
  
  
   Gas well head on left. 
Gray tank is an H2S scrubber?
  
  
Two Deeter Leasing tankers on right
Tanker truck convention - Dumping recycled wastewater, water from streams and other liquids into the large impoundment behind the neighbor's homes.
  
 
WEAVERTOWN TRANSPORT vacuum truck
Weavertown Environmental vacuum truck near
impoundment with brine dumping activity
  
  
Pumping activities create constant noise
  
  
Noise complaints from the neighbor on the other side led to
construction of this sound barrier
  
 
   Sound wall
  
  
Best Impoundment from the air
MARCELLUS AIR
April 23, 2010 activities
 
 
Best Production Pad & Impoundment on Wotring Road
 
 
New landscaping for the industrial site
 
 
 
 
 
Impoundment has been filled-in and seeded
 
 
Battery of condensate tanks
 
 
Well heads and ethyl glycol tanks
 
 
Gas pipes and meters
 
 
Second battery of condensate tanks
 

April 2011
Service rig and related activities

 
 
Service rig at the Best Unit
 
 
Pure Energy activities at the Best Unit
 
 
 
Millions of gallons of water for fracking but none for trees
August 2011
Newly planted trees are dying from lack of water
 
 
Selling your house in Gasland
April 6, 2013
DIFFICULT TO SELL!
Photoshopped FOR SALE Sign at house next door

 

 
 
 

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