Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is reportedly funding a study by the Pennsylvania State University that will examine the potential for natural gas drilling in the South Newark Basin, which includes Bucks and Montgomery counties. This study was required in an amendment to Pennsylvania's 2012 budget, which provided for a moratorium on new oil and gas production in the South Newark Basin until the DCNR studied the practicality of oil and gas production in the basin and the fiscal implications of such development. The study is expected to map the sediment thickness of Pennsylvania's section of the South Newark Basin. State legislators from the South Newark Basin area, including Senator Charles McIlhinney, proposed the moratorium after the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated that the basin could contain vast amounts of recoverable natural gas.
The fiscal amendment that includes the moratorium on pages 16-17 is available at: Pennsylvania Legislation link
A related news report for the study is available at: Media Report link
A press release from Senator Charles McIlhinney's office regarding the moratorium and its sponsors is available at: Senator Charles McIlhinney's Press Release
Written by: Tom Panighetti
October 8, 2013