While many shale gas companies have scaled back their operations across the region due to low natural gas prices and other factors, JKLM Energy is moving forward with its strategy to produce a substantial volume of gas in Potter County. By the end of 2017, depending on many factors, the company could have as many of a dozen wells drilled from pads in four locations.
Most recently, drilling began on a 13-acre tract on privately owned forest land off Pa. Rt. 44, not far from Patterson State Park in Summit Township. JKLM is also moving forward with a shale gas devel- opment in the Fox Hill area of Ulysses Township with two pads and multiple wells planned. A third JKLM development area is located in Sweden Township off Burrows Road in the Reese Hollow area. These are in addition to the well that's currently producing gas off the Billy Lewis Road in Summit Township. Each of these wells will be drilled into Utica shale formations. There is potential for other rock strata to be drilled from the same pads in future years.
Meanwhile, JKLM has continued to monitor water sources in the area of a chemical release last September at a well site in Sweden Township. The company and Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) both confirm that there has been no detection of the contaminants since last October. Monitoring of water sources will continue until DEP no longer requires it.
Five residences that had initially been affected by the release were equipped with water treatment systems at JKLM expense. The company provided bulk quantities of bottled water to those residences and others in the wake of the incident as monitoring continued.
Plugging of the gas well where the chemicals were released was completed in compliance with DEP standards. JKLM will eventually pay a monetary penalty to DEP as a result of the violations. The department has not revealed how that money will be used. County officials are encouraging DEP to use a portion of the settlement revenue to pay for environmental stewardship projects in Potter County.