Coterra Energy gets permission to drill again in Pennsylvania gas field

FILE - A drilling rig is seen on Oct. 14, 2011, in Springville, Pa. A year after pleading no contest to criminal charges, Coterra Energy Inc., one of Pennsylvania’s biggest natural gas companies, is poised to drill and frack in the rural community where it was banned for a dozen years over accusations it polluted the water supply. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Coterra Energy, the Houston-based company with offices also in Tulsa is set to drill in a Pennsylvania rural area where it was banned for a dozen years because of water pollution.

The company, considered onee of Pennsylvania’s leading natural gas companies, had pleaded no contest last year to criminal charges, but won permission from state environmental regulators till drill 11 gas wells in Dimock Township. The area in northeastern Pennsylvania is also deascribed as “the sweet spot of the largest natural gas field in the United States,” reported the Associated Press.

The AP reported billions of dollars worth of natural gas likes deep underground.

No date has been set to begin the new drilling. George Stark, a spokesman for Coterra said, “Coterra is committed to safe and responsible operations wherever we work.” As part of obtaining the drilling permits, the company agreed to monitor drinking water supplies within 3,000 feet of the new gas wells.

Coterra’s legal issues arose in 2010 when the firm was banned from drillilng in the region after residents reported methane and drilling chemicals were found in their drinking water supplies. It turned into a focus on fracking and even resulted in an Emmy Award-winning documentary entitled “Gasland” which featured residents able to light their tap water afire.

Source: Associated Press