Work Along Scrubgrass Road – Natural Gas Wells

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From the desk of Tom Kelley, Director of Public Services:

Through a contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Yost Drilling of Mt. Morris PA is preparing to cap four abandoned natural gas sites along Scrubgrass Rd in Scott Township. The wells have been leaking natural gas for the past 20 plus years and the Township has been working with DEP to track down the owners and secure the easements required to access the well sites.
There are an estimated 2 million abandoned oil and gas wells across the country, forgotten or ignored by the energy companies that drilled them. Funding for the well capping program became available in 2023 and DEP was able to dedicate additional legal resources to the program. In September of 2023, a contract was awarded to Yost Drilling to cap several abandoned well in Allegheny County including the four along Scrubgrass Run.
This week, DEP notified the Township that Yost Drilling would be clearing land around one of the well sites along Scrubgrass to prepare a site for a large drilling rig. DEP indicated that before the well is capped that the contractor would be venting or flaring natural gas to reduce pressure at the well to allow capping. Venting took place on 1/31/2024 and was terminated at the urging of the Township. They plan to flare the natural gas during the week of February 4th. After the well pressure is reduced the drill rig will proceed with the capping process.

Work is to continue tomorrow, February 6th, 2024.