PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Another local energy company is planning to start drilling new Marcellus and Utica shale gas wells.

When demand and gas prices dropped last year, CONSOL Energy stopped drilling new wells, cut costs and paid down debt.

Chief Operating Officer Tim Dugan tells KDKA’s Barbara Boylan the company is now ready to resume drilling “last year prices dropped, commodity prices have been depressed for the last year.”

Dugan says, “we did it the old fashion way, we’ve cut cost and have been prudent with our capital, we paid down debt.”

Dugan tells Boylan, “we’re ready to pivot from a defensive mode to an offensive mode and start putting some rigs back to work.”

According to Dugan, the wells won’t be online until mid-2017.

Other shale gas producers have also said they will resume drilling now that natural gas prices are finally rising again.