Act 13 has seen its share of controversy since its inception in February. This week it was announced that the “impact fee” has raised more than $200 million for Pennsylvania counties and towns to use for road repairs or other local government expenses.
Drillers were required to pay $50,000 per horizontal well and $10,000 for each vertical well drilled through 2011.
The Public Utility Commission, which collects the fee, announced that it is due nearly $206 million from 4,453 wells. Drillers have paid nearly $198 million of that.
The money will be distributed to the state in the amount of $25 million. Then 60 percent of the remaining money will be split among 35 counites and 1,500 municipalities.
The funds can be used for the following projects:
- To fix roads, bridges, and other infrastructure
- To provide affordable housing
- To preserve open space
- To buy equipment for first responders
- For other expenses
The rest of the fee revenue will be split among state agencies dealing with drilling impacts.
The top dogs in Marcellus paid the most money. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. was tops with $30.8 million paid on 624 wells. The two runners up: Calgary, Canada-based Talisman Energy Inc., $26.4 million on 540 wells; and Fort Worth, Texas-based Range Resources Corp., $23.7 million on 475 wells.
According to the PUC 58 drillers owe money.
The next payment is due April 1 for wells drilled in 2012. The once-a-year fee will be collected for 15 years and will slide up and down with the price of natural gas.