June 28, 2011 / 5:16 PM / in 6 years

Gas driller fined $180,000 for Marcellus violations

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Independent energy producer Chief Oil & Gas has been fined $180,000 by Pennsylvania regulators for environmental violations in the Marcellus Shale, the Department of Environmental Protection said on Tuesday.

Chief Oil & Gas has paid the civil fine, which was related to a hydraulic oil spill and the failure to maintain a drill pit at a natural gas well in Somerset County, the Pennsylvania DEP said in a statement.

“A June 10, 2010 site inspection by DEP found evidence of the discharge of hydraulic oil onto the ground,” the DEP said. “Chief did not notify DEP of the spill and was not permitted to discharge residual waste at the site.”

The company has since made repairs at the site to prevent future spills, the statement said.

The Marcellus shale is an underground rock formation that stretches across much of Pennsylvania, as well as portions of New York and West Virginia. Drilling in the Marcellus accounted for 271.5 billion cubic of natural gas during the last six months of 2010 (1.5 bcf per day).

Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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