Pennsylvania gas drilling fee revenue rebounded in 2017


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Rebounding prices for natural gas and a growth in new wells exploring Pennsylvania’s vast Marcellus Shale reservoir are fueling a recovery in fee revenue for state programs and county and municipal governments.

The Independent Fiscal Office projected Wednesday that impact fee collections for 2017 will be just above $219 million, $46 million more than 2016’s low point of $173 million.

The rebound breaks a string of three years of declining revenue. The IFO says the increase is largely due to the average annual price of natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange passing $3, which triggered a $5,000 per-well increase.

The office also says 812 new wells were started, making 8,634 wells subject to the fee. Pennsylvania is the nation’s No. 2 natural gas state behind Texas.

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