Appalachian Basin

IPAA Launches New Regulatory Compliance Tool for PA Operators

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) — founders of the EID program back in 2009 — announced this week  the creation of a new regulatory compliance system to help Marcellus  operators better understand and ultimately meet and exceed the regulatory rules as they exist in the Commonwealth.  The asset, developed by experts with decades of experience in Pennsylvania, will assist operators in navigating the state’s complex regulatory system, which includes eight different agencies implementing regulations based on more than 100 different state and federal statutes, some of which can be found here.  The new tool will be critical in helping operators continue their trend of producing fewer violations, safer operations, and greater efficiency in developing resources from shale.

The newly launched interface is a critical resource given the constantly changing dynamics in the Marcellus Shale.  The play continues to grow due to historic production levels that are putting Pennsylvania on track to become the largest natural gas producing state in the nation.

In fact, production has increased dramatically in the last few years, quadrupling between 2009 and 2010. More than 1,000 wells were drilled in 2010, up from 595 in 2009, and industry experts estimate that approximately 2,300 wells will be drilled in 2011.  Despite this uptick in activity, data from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows that current year violations in the Marcellus Shale are on track to decrease from 2010 levels.  This trend, combined with the recently announced regulatory compliance tool, clearly highlights the industry-wide commitment to responsible operation and environmental success.

The IPAA Environmental Compliance System—PA is designed to dissect and disseminate the increasingly stringent requirements that affect the entire drilling process for the ease of operators in the play. The step by step, timeline-driven plan covers all of the regulations affecting the life cycle of a Pennsylvania well— from preparation, drilling and completion, well production and operation, and finally, to well plugging and abandonment.  The system will literally place access to regulations, statutes, permitting forms and other needed materials at operators’ fingertips for use in their operations.  Details on the system’s capabilities are summarized in this four page flyer.

IPAA worked with industry-leading consultants Jim Collins, P.E. and Jim Erb, P.E. to develop the product.

Mr. Erb spent more than 25 years with DEP as a Water Quality Manager and Director of the Bureau of Oil and Gas Management. He has also worked for Homeland Energy Ventures, LLC. and is a founding member of the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER).

Mr. Collins is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, and has twice been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He has served on two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency committees, the National Drinking Water Council and the Federal Advisory Committee on Underground Injection Regulations. Currently, Mr. Collins represents IPAA on the board of STRONGER.

Given its web-based approach the system will be expandable to include additional regulations and additional states.  To learn more about this critical new asset please visit IPAA’s website.

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