By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
MERCER COUNTY —
While not specifically addressing the lawsuits filed over its decision not to lease certain Mercer County properties for oil and gas drilling, Halcon Resources Corp. has issued a statement that discusses some of the issues levied in those suits.
The statement has been released by ShaleComm, a shale industry public relations and communications group.
Halcon said there is a “great deal of misunderstanding and confusion concerning Halcon’s review of proposed leases. We understand some landowners are upset and concerned and this is unfortunate.”
Halcon said that energy companies “review potential leases to determine if the properties in question have clear ownership title and if they can be combined with adjacent properties to create the large contiguous acreage positions necessary for horizontal drilling.”
Horizontal drilling is the formal term for the process better known as fracking - injecting pressurized water and chemicals into underground shale rock formations to free up the gas stored within.
“The Mercer County land not optioned by Halcon was largely fragmented,” Halcon said. “In Halcon’s determination, there was no economically viable way to combine and develop this land.”
Halcon’s review process - known as due diligence - “was clearly outlined in the terms of the agreement.”
“Halcon is investing considerable resources to help western Pennsylvania realize its energy potential,” the company said. “It is moving forward with many leases in Mercer County and intends to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in lease bonuses, lease royalty payments and drilling of wells over many years. These operations will help spur job growth and greatly benefit our local economy.”
Halcon, based in Houston, Texas, was founded in November 2011.