Pennsylvania Changes Drilling Rules If Youre Drilling Under Water

06.04.12 | Sarah Harnisch

Gas companies may drill on your land and the cash could go to the state of Pennsylvania, because of a new policy. Gas companies use horizontal drilling to get at the Marcellus Shale. But in some cases, they're actually extracting from below a riverbed. And many riverbeds belong to the state, even if they traverse a private property. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recently developed a new policy saying where the state owns streambeds, it owns the mineral rights beneath them, even if they're drilling very deep under the waterways. In March, they started contacting gas drillers and saying they would begin seeking compensation through lease payments and royalties for gas removed under waterways. Publicly owned waterways in the heart of Northeastern Pennsylvania's shale region include the Susquehanna and Delaware rivers; Tunkhannock, Bowman and Mehoopany creeks in Susquehanna and Wyoming counties; and Wyalusing, Wysox, Wappasening, Sugar and Towanda creeks in Bradford County.