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W. Pa. school district rejects $1M drilling deal

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 12, 2014 at 8:44 am •  Published: March 12, 2014

MARS, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania school board has unanimously rejected an energy firm's $1 million, five-year offer to drill for natural gas under school district property from a well pad nearly a mile away from school property.

Officials with Rex Energy say they're still seeking state environmental approvals to open the well pad in hopes of tapping gas under other nearby properties.

The Mars Area School Board, about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh, rejected the deal at its meeting Tuesday night. Officials and concerned citizens cited environmental and safety concerns — notably a gas well explosion in Greene County last month that killed a worker. Mars is in Butler County.

Horizontal drilling enables companies like Rex to access gas beneath property from off-site wells.

Rex plans to construct the well pad about 4,000 feet from school district property.


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