The safe, tightly-regulated production of clean-burning natural gas involves several fundamental steps:
- Companies lease mineral rights from land- and mineral-owners;
- Companies then do seismic testing to determine what areas are likely to have economically recoverable quantities of natural gas;
- Companies then perform basic earthmoving activities to prepare a drilling location, or a pad site, for the drilling phase in accordance with local, state and federal regulations;
- A rig arrives and begins the drilling process, which typically takes between 20-30 days per well, depending on factors such as depth and lateral distance;
- Upon completion of the drilling phase, the rig is disassembled and oil field services companies arrive to begin the completions and hydraulic fracturing process, which takes approximately one week per well, based on well depth and lateral length; and
- The midstream company constructs the gathering pipeline infrastructure to move natural gas from the wellhead to the transmission and distribution network.
The best one-stop-shop for a full overview of natural gas development is conveniently located on our website. For information on every step of the process, click here. You can find additional resources, such as this Frequently Asked Questions document, at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.