LATHROP TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- For a decade, Susquehanna County has been a big part of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. This year, Cabot Oil and Gas has big plans, thanks to some important developments in taking that gas to market.
Folks in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale are feeling like something has changed.
They're seeing more and more activity as Cabot Oil and Gas starts to ramp up production from its natural gas well pads.
In the past few years, Cabot Oil and Gas operated just one of these drill rigs for the entire county. Now there are three, and the company expects to put them to good use.
The Texas-based company announced on Twitter it plans to put dozens of new wells into production in 2018.
According to a Cabot spokesperson, it's all because two nearby power plants are expected to go online by the end of the year, including the Invenergy plant in Jessup.
Plus, a pipeline project also will hook Cabot wells into the Baltimore/Washington market.
Folks who live near Cabot gas wells have certainly seen signs of more drilling and fracking, more truck traffic, and of course, the big rigs towering in the countryside.
"I noticed a couple more lights in the sky, oil rigs. I always called them steel money trees," said Gerald Sutton of Laceyville.
For years, lease owners in Susquehanna County have been waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, some pipelines to get all that gas to market, then a ramp-up in production again.
It appears that's what the Carpenettis are getting once again with even more wells on their well pad.
"We've got four now and they've projected nine more. That's a lot of wells, yes," said Cabot lease owner Ron Carpenetti.
Carpenetti and his wife have been waiting for things to ramp up again and for Cabot to extract even more from the farm that's been in the family for 70 plus years.
"Had it since 1945. We've worked it for many years. Now it's going to work for us."
Cabot Oil and Gas had six drill rigs running at the height of the fracking boom.
Now there are three and the company says with more power and better technology, they do the work of six rigs.
In all, the company plans to put 80 wells into production by the end of the year in Susquehanna County.