Chief Oil & Gas Testifies at Maryland State Senate Hearing on Marcellus Shale Development

Chief supports Senate Bill 422, sponsored by Garrett County Senator George Edwards

Wexford, Pennsylvania (March 1, 2011) – Chief Oil & Gas today testified before the Maryland State Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on the benefits and safety of Marcellus Shale development for the state of Maryland. The company also testified that hydraulic fracturing “has been used in oil and gas development for over 50 years in many states and not a single case of ground water contamination has been reliably traced to [this practice] anywhere in the US.”

Terry Bossert, vice president of government and regulatory affairs, emphasized the importance of natural gas as an energy source in Maryland and the economic benefits that local natural gas development would bring to the state. He urged legislators not to delay the process by imposing a two-year “study period” as has been discussed in the House of Delegates. “We agree that policy makers should proceed cautiously and should have some time to draft additional regulations, but a two-year open-ended study is not a path to the safe development of the Marcellus; it is a path to barring the development of the resource,” Bossert testified.

Bossert affirmed Chief’s support for Senate Bill 422, entitled “Natural Gas Exploration and Production - Marcellus Shale Formation,” which was sponsored by Garrett County State Senator George Edwards. The bill would require the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)—the agency that regulates the production and development of energy resources— to submit regulations regarding natural gas exploration and production in the Marcellus Shale formation by December 31, 2011.

“We believe that SB 422 represents an appropriate role for the General Assembly – to issue policy direction to MDE and identify specific areas to be addressed in regulation. For that reason we support SB 422, which mandates the development of regulations by a certain date,” said Bossert in his testimony.

He also addressed concerns regarding the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing. “Hydraulic fracturing is considered, even by environmental organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund, an operation that can be safely conducted. And I will say it again, in the 50 years this extraction method has been in existence, not a single case of groundwater contamination has been linked to hydraulic fracturing,” stated Bossert. “Chief supports openness, transparency and public safety. Let’s set a reasonable date for new regulations and then proceed to review permit applications.”

Chief Oil & Gas has been producing clean natural gas from shale for more than a decade and is proud of its environmental track record of efficiently and responsibly managing water and other natural resources.

Transparency and community involvement are key values at Chief. Chief voluntarily disclosed the additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process for the natural gas wells that the company operates in Pennsylvania even before it was mandatory, and has hosted more than 300 public tours of its drilling sites, compressor stations, water impoundments, water withdrawal sites and road restoration projects for members of the communities, including local residents, business groups, the media and state and local legislators.

Chief Oil & Gas began drilling in the Marcellus in 2007 and to date has drilled 125 wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Chief holds more than 487,000 acres of leasehold for natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland and currently has 9 rigs operating in the Marcellus Shale.

Chief has applied to the Maryland Department of Energy (MDE) for two drilling permits, both in the Friendsville area of Garrett County.


About Chief Oil & Gas LLC

Based in Dallas, Texas, Chief Oil & Gas is privately held, independent oil & gas company engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas reserves from fields throughout the continental United States.