Ask your drilling company to put in writing that all of their
employees and all of their sub-contractors employees have passed
background checks and have no criminal record. Remind them that you
are concerned for your children's safety and protection of your
When the drilling company sends someone out to do your pre-drill
water sampling ask for at least two weeks notice so you can have
another water company of your choice (that you will pay) to
be present to do a "split sample". You will want to do the same in
your post-drill sample. Ask them what "EPA Method" they will be
using so you can make arrangements with your testing facility.
- June 2011 -
1.67 million acres
1.2 million acres
National Fuel Gas:
Royal Dutch Shell:
Ask for specifics on where their entry road will be, expected hours
of use and volume of traffic.
Would they consider moving the road to the very edge of your
property? Express your concerns over the safety of your children
playing in your yard, the constant noise and the fact that your
property value will decrease.
Ask how they will control dust on the access roads on your
property. Do they intend to spray the roads? Just so you know, in
the State of PA, drillers are allowed to spray brine (frac fluid) on
their construction roads to control dust. They have to receive
permission from the DEP once a year to spray. No testing or
monitoring is done. This will eventually make it into groundwater.
Where do they plan to obtain the millions of gallons of water they
will need to do the drilling and fracing? On one local site the
driller put on their permit application that they needed approx.
100,000 gallons for each drilling and approximately 6 million for
each well frac.
Where do they intend to store these millions of gallons of water?
Are they planning a water impoundment? Freshwater only, or also
wastewater? Since many of the drillers are now
recycling water they use the wastewater impoundments. This greatly
decreases the fresh water requirements. They just keep re-using the frac fluid. How long will the impoundment sit on your property?
8. Do you have any water sources on the land, like springs,
creeks or ponds? Ask the driller to sample any of these, pre- and
post-drill. Ask for a split sample on these too.
During the frac and flare, will they consider putting your family in
a hotel? Mention you have concerns over the VOC's that will be
emitted from the flare. These emissions are very toxic.
How long do they anticipate the following will take (ask for this in
-install the road
-install the pad
-install the impoundment
-collect the water required
-well completion (put on the well heads)
What does the driller do with the frac pit liner after the frac? In
PA, they are allowed to bury the liner 18 inches below the surface.
The liner may still have drilling materials in it. They can leave in the
remnants of any solids brought to the surface during the frac which
could include radioactive materials. Photo below: Drilling pad pit
12. Any plans for a compressor station or processing facility on
your land or neighboring land?
13. Are you leasing rights to only
Marcellus Shale, or all the other sources of natural gas and petroleum beneath
your land too? You can specify which
formations your lease covers. Someday, they may drill deeper to the
Utica Shale, Trenton-Black
River or another formation, once the Marcellus Shale gas runs
14. Lease term. You may sign a gas
lease for 5 years, but your lease can he "held by production" and
extended, even if they only move an excavator onto your land the
last day of the lease.
15. Privacy lost. Once you have gas
wells on your property, there may be daily truck traffic to the well
sites by well keepers and other unknown personnel. Specify in your
lease where roads and wells will be located.
16. There is much more in "wet gas"
from Marcellus Shale than just methane. Be sure your lease includes
payment for other products like propane, butane, ethane and drip
17. Expenses. Will the drilling
company be deducting expenses from your royalty payments for things
like drying, transportation and storage? Some royalty payments are
being reduced by nearly half for expenses like these.