Consol to drill in Marcellus shale at Pittsburgh airport

Pittsburgh International Airport/Google Satellite Map

PITTSBURGH — CONSOL Energy Inc. and the Allegheny County Airport Authority unveiled a proposed drilling plan for the Pittsburgh International Airport property.

The proposed plan, shared Aug. 27, outlines six well pad locations and three centralized water impoundments.

Marcellus wells

The plan proposes a total of 47 Marcellus wells, with the future potential to drill Upper Devonian wells.

CONSOL officials said they won’t be sure of the project’s potential until it begins drilling and can conduct analysis of core testing, which is estimated to occur in the third quarter of 2014.

Any development of the Upper Devonian formation would occur on the existing pad locations and use the same infrastructure.

Begin in 2014

CONSOL Energy projects that construction of the well sites, centralized impoundments and pipelines will begin in second quarter 2014, with drilling to begin in July 2014 with two vertical rigs.

Upon the start of horizontal rig operations, the vertical rig count will be reduced to one and both units will run for the duration of the project through 2018.

Approximately 17 miles of gas line (11 on airport property) and 12 miles of water line will be used to deliver gas to market and provide water for well completions. CONSOL Energy has no plans to construct new public roads on airport property and will be able to rely on existing roads without any disruption to daily airport traffic.

The drilling plan does call for construction of several access roads on and adjacent to airport property.

$500 million project

“The economic opportunity that this project brings to our region is unparalleled. This is a huge public works project, totaling nearly $500 million, and will be putting many of our people to work,” said Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County chief executive.

“The expected revenues will allow us to lower costs at the airport and attract additional flights. It ensures that our taxpayers do not have to pick up additional costs at the airport, and allows us to support infrastructure and other development near the airport easing the burden on taxpayer funds.”

Comment period

CONSOL Energy and the ACAA are currently conducting the Environmental Assessment that will be reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Rhea Engineers & Consultants of Gibsonia, Pa., has been retained by CONSOL Energy to manage the Environmental Assessment for the PIT project.

The final Environmental Assessment document is scheduled to be submitted to the FAA by ACAA for approval in December 2013.

Seismic testing at Pittsburgh International Airport is scheduled to begin in late October. Survey and recording crews will gather data over a one- to two-week period that will parallel approximately 33 miles of surrounding roadways.

For more information on oil and gas development at Pittsburgh International Airport, visit


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