The drilling math

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Regarding the coverage in the Post-Gazette and on WESA of the planned fracking under Deer Lakes Park: Are you publicity agents for Range Resources that you repeat the “$51 million in estimated royalties” without mentioning its implications?

Using information from the gas well production graph supplied by, a standard initial production rate of 5 million cubic feet, 18 percent royalties and a $4.39 per thousand cubic feet price at the wellhead, I assume that production lasts a full 10 years, an overly generous assumption. With the help of a mathematician, I find the county would receive about $2 million over 10 years of production. Is Range planning to drill 25 wells under Deer Lakes Park? Is it wildly inflating its numbers?

Range claims that it will be drilling only five wells and maybe a total of 15, but it couldn’t tell us for sure until after the lease was signed. How can Range possibly announce royalty estimates if it doesn’t even know how many wells it is going to drill? And why do you let Range get away with it?


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