As the natural gas boom continues to sweep across the region, a new name is entering the fray and searching for access to reserves in Warren County.
SWEPI LP has received ten permits to drill unconventional gas wells at a site designated the Hook Run Farm. The site is near Jake's Rocks Road, approximately three and a half miles northeast of the intersection with Brown Run Road in Mead Township.
SWEPI may not be a household name, but the company behind it is. SWEPI was formerly known as Shell Western Exploration and Production and is a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
According to Deborah Sawyer, onshore gas communications business advisor for Upstream Americas, another Shell subsidiary, Shell acquired Warrendale-based East Resources, Inc. in July 2010.
"Shell's acquisition of East Resources... is the foundation for Shell's operations and growth in the Appalachian Basin," Sawyer said. "Shell's current Marcellus Shale operations are focused in Tioga County with exploration in Warren, McKean, Elk and Forest Counties. We also have an area of exploration occurring near Slippery Rock."
"We are planning to drill a total of five to ten wells on five to seven sites located in Warren, Forest and McKean Counties by the end of 2013," Sawyer said. "Since our current activity in northwest Pennsylvania is exploration, we cannot speculate on future development plans. Our exploration activities have already started in the region."
The Hook Run permits nearly double the total number of permits that have been issued for unconventional gas development in Warren County during the past decade. Eleven other permits have been issued in total, six to Range Resources Appalachia LLC, four to PA General Energy Company LLC and one to Hunt Marcellus Operating Company LLC.