Oil firms pay $630M in Pennsylvania drilling fees, critics say it's not enough

|By:, SA News Editor

Drilling fees on nearly 6,500 natural gas wells in the Marceluus Shale will bring more than $630M to Pennsylvania's coffers by the end of the year, three years after the state passed the fees into law, but critics say the oil and gas companies aren’t paying enough.

Range Resources (RRC) paid the most with $27M in fees last year, followed by Chesapeake Energy (CHK) with $26.6M; among others, Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) forked over $13.2M, Anadarko Petroleum (APC) paid $12.3M, and EOG Resources (EOG) coughed up $4.5M.

Critics who want the companies to pay more point to a report from the state’s independent fiscal branch that found Pennsylvania’s drilling fees were lower than severance tax rates on gas production in Texas and other states, which do not have drilling fees.