CONSOL Energy’s activity at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) has directly contributed to reduced operating costs, according to Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA) Director of Communications JoAnn Jenny. In fact, she says this is the lowest rate per cost of an enplaned passenger for airlines flying into PIT since 2008. More marketable than ever, PIT will add nonstop daily flights to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this month. We caught up with CONSOL Energy Chief Operating Officer, Gas, Tim Dugan on the groundbreaking details.
By Andrea Bosco
How long will CONSOL be present at the airport?
Tim Dugan: Drilling began in August and is expected to continue through 2017. The drilling plan outlines six well pad locations and three water impoundments, with a total of 45 Marcellus shale wells.
Let’s talk revenue.
TD: This project will provide a huge financial boost to the airport and the entire region. Between up-front payments, royalty payments, and the capital spend necessary to develop the acreage, this project represents a $1 billion economic development opportunity for the region — an opportunity that will further distinguish southwestern Pennsylvania and the surrounding Appalachian Basin as the new global Energy Capital.
How does CONSOL work to protect the environment?
TD: As a 150-year-old company with deep roots in Southwestern Pennsylvania, CONSOL Energy takes its license to operate very seriously. We recognize the importance of environmental management and we practice the responsible use of land, water, and air in our operational areas. We approached the Pittsburgh International Airport project with an unwavering focus on our core values of safety, compliance, and continuous improvement. We have extensive processes and procedures in place to manage and evaluate the risks of natural gas production, and we are committed to advancing safe drilling practices. Before drilling began on airport property, CONSOL Energy and the Allegheny County Airport Authority completed an environmental assessment, which was reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The year-long, detailed site investigation characterized all potential impacts and mitigation related to drilling. Our dedication to environmental management is not unique to the airport project. We are committed to reducing the environmental impact caused by our operations and have implemented technologies and best practices that include recycling and reusing produced water, which reduces fresh water consumption as well as the need for water trucking transfer and disposal; double-lined leak detection systems to prevent spills; and electric-powered equipment to reduce air emissions and noise. At CONSOL Energy, we recognize that both our safety and environmental responsibilities go beyond those required under statutory obligations, and thus design and operate our business to meet the expectations of our employees, communities, regulators, and shareholders.