Maintaining the Surface

ProductionEnergy from unconventional natural gas has among the lowest surface impacts on a per Btu basis of any form of energy. With horizontal multi-well pad development, Range is able to develop two or more square miles of subsurface while temporarily impacting less than one percent of the surface.

As horizontal drilling technologies continue to improve, the ratio of necessary surface impact to subsurface development will continue to decrease. This means that more natural gas will be produced from fewer well sites. Fewer well sites also means less additional infrastructure. 

When selecting sites for surface facilities, Range adheres to strict state and local guidelines, including setbacks, while seeking to minimize surface impacts. As part of the site selection process, in Pennsylvania, for example, the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) is consulted, and conservation or avoidance measures are required if certain species of flora or fauna are identified. Efforts to maintain natural biodiversity also include partnerships with groups like the Nature Conservancy, and subsequent consultation with their staff focused on energy development. In addition, Range has cooperated with various state agencies and institutes of higher learning, providing data and case studies to nearly every request.

During site development, dedicated Range staff ensure that work is done to all permitted and applicable design standards, and that landowner interests are taken into consideration. Additional and separate staff perform audits of sites to confirm that required environmental safeguards, including erosion controls, are implemented and maintained throughout the process. The Company takes great pride in the appearance of its surface locations and integration into the local landscape.

Aside from up-front site selection and development criteria, Range is also focused on, and committed to, leaving sites in the same or better condition than that in which they began. An integral part of the surface development process is the restoration and reclamation of well development facilities.  This can mean the establishment of permanent vegetation, the installation of Post-Construction Stormwater Management (PCSM) features, or the return of a temporary site to its pre-development condition.  Whatever the case may be, it is Range’s goal to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of all areas associated with current or past natural gas development activities. 

While specific restoration or reclamation plans vary from site to site due to regulatory requirements, Range makes every attempt to incorporate meaningful and beneficial improvements into its efforts.  With landowner support, several habitat enhancement projects have taken place over the last few years, and include partnerships with wildlife and conservation organizations such as Pheasants Forever, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Partners for Fish & Wildlife), California University of PA, Washington County Parks & Recreation, and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF).  In fact, the NWTF honored Range with the Corporate Conservation Award for the Cross Creek County Park habitat project in 2015.