DEP Secretary Michael Krancer told reporters yesterday that his agency had not heard of storm-related issues arising at any of the state's gas drilling sites.
Krancer, whose agency oversees all drilling activity here, said state officials contacted drilling companies as Hurricane Sandy was approaching to ensure that they were taking necessary precautions.
"We have been in touch with them, we've followed up on our call to them last week and what we've heard is nothing, no damages," Krancer said.
He said preparatory steps were to include scaling back operations, getting workers safely away from drill sites, and paying close attention to areas susceptible to erosion.
In an email Monday morning, Mike Knapp of MDS Energy Ltd. outlined similar steps that his company had taken. Those included draining pits and brine tanks, removing non-essential equipment and fortifying their erosion and sedimentation controls.
Knapp said Wednesday that the Kittanning-based company's operations were not impacted at all, with rigs either waiting to move or being serviced.
"The storm turned out to be much less of an impact for us here in the western part of the state, so it wasn't quite the test we had anticipated, but all of our [erosion and sedimentation] controls performed exactly as designed," he wrote in an email.
Krancer said Tuesday that he expected gas production to remain scaled back until storm conditions subsided.
"Some compressor stations are on backup generation, but that's typical, that's normal, it's planned that way, so that's not an incident of any nature," Krancer said.
He also noted that last year's storms gave officials and operators experience in preparing for an unusual storm: "We sent out a sort of a communique which said, hey guys and women, please prepare. They did and we had absolutely no incidences last year either."
Rory Sweeney, a spokesman for Chesapeake Energy, said Wednesday morning that there has been "minimal impact" on the company's Pennsylvania operations, but did not clarify whether any sites were entirely shut down.
The company inspected and secured its equipment prior to the storm's arrival, and environmental controls were checked to ensure they would handle significant rain and wind, according to a statement he forwarded. Chesapeake also monitored flood-prone areas and water impoundments throughout the storm.
"Immediately following the storm, sites will be inspected to assess conditions, equipment and environmental controls," according to Chesapeake's statement.