Cabot to automate water withdrawal site

BY STACI WILSON

Cabot Oil & Gas is looking to increase its water extraction with an automated recording system at its Susquehanna Depot river site.

But before the company can do that, Penelec is requiring the borough sign off on an easement in order for them to extend the power line.

Cabot’s Joe Williams brought the request to the borough council at the April 17 meeting. He said two poles would be installed in order to allow for the 450-foot electrical extension.

Councilman Roy Williams explained that Cabot was moving from a manual system to an automated one.
Water truck drivers would be able to punch in their personal code numbers and the gallons of water withdrawn would be recorded and would provide for more accurate readings. The amount of water Cabot is allowed to withdraw from the site was recently increased by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.
According to Joe Williams, this would be the first automated installation in the area.

“It represents a significant investment in the facility,” the Cabot rep told council.

He said the natural gas company planned to drill 82 wells this year and is adding two rigs.

The company expects to drill 100 wells per year beginning in 2014, Joe Williams said.

He also said the company plans to eventually automate all of the water withdrawal sites. And water reserve pools may also be installed for the company to use during times when the water level is low.
Council gave its approval for the easement to add the two poles and extend the electric line at the site.

Councilman Williams said Cabot had been a “good neighbor” to the borough. He told the audience that the company had renegotiated the lease agreement with the borough; had worked with the sewer authority during the 2011 flood providing and fueling pumps.

Roy Williams added that with the borough’s street sweeper needing about $7,000 in repairs, Cabot has also offered to bring in a street sweeper to Susquehanna at no cost to the borough.

He said the borough council would need to look at the possibility of replacing or repairing the street sweeper sometime this year.

He said the break-down of the equipment was both “costly and unexpected” and he apologized to residents for not having the streets cleaned as of the meeting night.

The borough will also be looking at using Act 13 funds for a flood project. PEMA and FEMA both suggested that an earthen berm be placed around the sewer plant to avoid flooding.

The plant has been inundated twice in the past decade, Councilman Williams said. He said the borough is hoping to assist the sewer authority get that project off the ground.

In other business, the borough accepted a $429 bid by John Sholtiss for the Crown Victoria.