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Natural Gas Drilling Delayed by Two Moratoriums
Natural gas drilling probably would not have started any time soon in Bucks and Montgomery counties, even if Governor Corbett’s new budget had not imposed a six-year moratorium in the South Newark Basin. That’s a geological formation which includes all or most of Bucks County and part of Montgomery County and extends into New Jersey and New York.
The area was already under a moratorium imposed by the Delaware River Basin Commission, the agency that oversees water issues in the four-state area that drains into the Delaware. Natural gas companies have known of deposits under Nockamixon and Durham townships in Upper Bucks County for decades, and a test well drilled in 1985 found some, but not enough to be profitable. Now new methods have given would-be drillers new interest, but no power tools will go into the ground until a long process has been completed.