Drillers were forced to reach deep into their pockets this week to meet obligations set forth in Act 13.
Each company will pay $50,000 for each well, and the funds were due this week under the law approved in February.
A company’s impact fee bill is based on the number of shale wells it had drilled in 2011 (some wells may be exempted after either one or three years of not meeting a certain threshold of gas production). Next year all wells drilled in 2012 will be subject to the highest fee with older wells being subject to a sliding fee scale.
The impact fee is estimated to raise about $180 million this year. The funds will be distributed to local governments and will be used for statwide projects.
The state Public Utility Commission has yet to release an official amount in funds raised from the fee. Numbers are expected to be released in the next couple of weeks.
Distribution of the county and municipal dollars is determined by dividing the number of local wells by the total number of Pennsylvania shale wells. State reports indicate that there were approximately 4,900 drilled wells at the end of last year.