Pa.: Okla. energy firm's data filled with errors
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says natural gas drilling company Chesapeake Energy last week filed an important Marcellus Shale production report containing so many errors a state database rejected it.
DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday said on Tuesday a previous statement by Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. that suggested state databases were the problem wasn't entirely accurate and omitted important points.
"DEP's production database functioned exactly as designed by rejecting reports that contain obvious data entry errors," Sunday said. For example, Chesapeake attempted to report production information on wells where the drilling start date wasn't listed; attempted to report more producing days than the number of days in the reporting period; and attempted to report drilled wells as wells that were not drilled, Sunday said.
Chesapeake also waited until the end of a 45-day grace period to submit data, Sunday said.
Pennsylvania released official biannual data on natural gas production last week but didn't reveal that Chesapeake Energy's numbers were missing. Because the firm has been a top producer in previous reports, statewide totals weren't close to being accurate.
Chesapeake spokesman Rory Sweeny said on Tuesday that "Chesapeake is working cooperatively with the department to ensure future issues with submissions are avoided."
The company has been under scrutiny by shareholders and federal securities officials. Its stock dropped sharply in the spring but has rebounded somewhat since then.
Pennsylvania officials can't control the quality of data they receive, but one expert said they should have let the public know that an important database was incomplete, even if they probably didn't have a legal obligation to do so.
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