Source: Appalachian Fracture Systems, Modified from U.S. Geological Survey sources
Link to picture as it appeared in Business First of Buffalo is here: http://buffalo.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2008/02/11/story2.html?b=1202706000%5E1587557 What does this all mean to the average resident? It means that landowners, towns, counties and regional organizations have a very short time to come up to speed with all the issues involved with gas exploration. As a new “shale play” we don’t have a history in this particular formation but we certainly have a history with gas exploration and the complexity of the issues involved. Here are a few topics we all need to look closer at:
Click on the graphic to see the entire chart in PDF format.
• Regulatory Issues: After decades of deal making between government and the industry it has resulted in exemptions for the oil and gas companies from protections in the clean water act, the environmental response, compensation, and liability act (CERCLA also known as the Superfund law), the resource Conservation and recovery act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Also, the gas industry is not covered by public right to know provisions, which mean companies can withhold information about the chemicals they use in the “fracking” process.
The Ashokan Reservoir is part of the city’s Catskill water supply system. (Credit: Jim McKnight/AP Photo)
Find out more at Propublica from Investigative Journalist Abrahm Lustgarten here
**all photo’s above courtesy of the New York Times**
** The Marcellus shale maps, horizontal well art, photomicrograph and image captions below are used with permission of Geology.com. Do not reproduce, reprint or otherwise use this content without permission from Geology.com. **
|Thickness map of the Marcellus Shale. Modified after: United States Geological Survey, Open-File Report 2006-1237, Assessment of Appalachian Basin oil and gas resources: Devonian Shale-Middle and Upper Paleozoic Total Petroleum System, by Robert Milici and Christopher Swezey.|
|This map shows the approximate depth to the base of the Marcellus Shale. It was prepared using the map by by Robert Milici and Christopher Swezey above and plotting depth-to-Marcellus contours published by Wallace de Witt and others, 1993, United States Department of Energy Report: The Atlas of Major Appalachian Gas Plays.|
|Wells drilled into the Marcellus employ two technologies that are relatively new in the Appalachian Basin. One is horizontal drilling, in which a vertical well is deviated to horizontal so that it will penetrate a maximum number of vertical rock fractures. The second is “hydrofracing” in which a portion of the well is sealed off and water is pumped in to produce a pressure that is high enough to fracture the surrounding rock. The result is a highly fractured reservoir that is penetrated by a long length of well bore.|
|Photomicrograph of a polished section of Marcellus Shale in reflected light. The gold particles are pyrite grains which are common in organic-rich rocks. The large brown elongated body is a compressed plant spore with a few pyrite grains in the central cavity. The remainder of the rock is a clay matrix with a heavy brown organic stain.The width of this image spans about 0.2 millimeter of the shale.|
Recent technological advances have allowed access to indigenous gas resources in the shallow Marcellus Shale. The entire Marcellus Shale formation, from the West Virginia to New York’s Catskills, is estimated to contain 168 to 516 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Ten to 20 percent of this natural resource lies within New York’s borders.
Existing oil and natural gas wells by County:
- Chautauqua – 3,891
- Cattaraugus – 2,499
- Allegany – 1,508
- Erie – 1,492
- Genesee – 637
- Wyoming – 412
- Steuben – 399
- Cayuga – 304
- Seneca – 180
- Livingston – 167
- Schuyler – 149
- New York -56
- Ontario – 55
- Chemung – 42
- Westchester – 32
- Madison – 38
- Tioga – 25
- Yates – 18
- Chenango – 10
- Bronx – 9
- Albany – 4
- Wayne – 4
- Essex – 3
- Oswego – 3
- Cortland – 2
- Sullivan – 2
- Broome – 1
- Niagara – 1
- Oneida – 1
- Onondaga – 1
The 182-mile Millennium Pipeline was approved late last year by federal regulators and workers have begun laying pipes. When it’s done, the line will run from Corning in Steuben County across New York’s Southern Tier and down the western side of Sullivan and Orange counties, ending at Ramapo in Rockland County. It will replace a 10-inch pipeline owned by Columbia Gas with a 30-inch line. The project is expected to be completed late next year, when the line will begin supplying natural gas to utilities along its route.
A 12-mile section of the 30-inch natural gas pipeline is being installed from Tuxedo to Ramapo in Rockland County. Later this summer, about three miles will be installed in the Mongaup area of Sullivan County.
Millennium Pipeline is comprised of 182 miles of 30-inch diameter steel pipeline and related 15,000 horsepower compressor station capable of transporting up to 525,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas.
The balance of the pipeline will be built next year.
Diagram of the Marc I Hub Line (Graphic: Business Wire). The above grapic shows the various natural gas pipelines and hub lines that criss cross the Marcellus Shale formation in our area. Click on the picture above for a larger version courtesy of Business Wire.
Interstate – Pipeline systems that cross one or more States
Intrastate – Pipeline systems that operate only within State boundaries
Network Design - Basic concepts and parameters
Pipeline Capacity & Usage
Transportation, Processing, & Gathering
Underground Natural Gas Storage
Pipeline Development & Expansion
U.S./Canada/Mexico Import & Export LocationsNortheast Region Natural Gas Pipeline Network
New York State State Land Oil and Gas Leasing
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is authorized under Article 23, Title 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law to lease state lands for oil and gas exploration and development and for underground gas storage. State park lands, including the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, lands under the waters of Lake Ontario and certain other lands are excluded from leasing. The Department is not authorized to lease lands under Lake Erie for oil development. Leasing of state lands has occurred since the 1930s.
The Division of Mineral Resources acts as the leasing agent for large tracts of state land, working with the state surface managers to identify areas suitable for leasing and to develop area-specific special conditions and stipulations to provide for exploration and development in a safe, environmentally sound manner consistent with surface management objectives. The Division also leases small tracts of state lands non-competitively when oil or gas will be drained from the lands and for gas storage. The Department does not regulate leases on private lands, but does provide information in the Landowner’s Guide to Oil and Gas Leasing brochure.
At the end of 2007, DEC administered 106 leases on 83,021 acres of state land in Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Cortland, Erie, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties.
Revenue from oil and gas leases are deposited as follows:
- General Fund for State Reforestation and Multiple Use Areas
- Conservation Fund for Wildlife Management Areas
- Through DEC exchange account to the appropriate other state agency
Information from the DEC website here:
New York State Oil and Gas, Mining And Reclamation Laws
The policy statements for the Mined Land Reclamation Law and the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law are posted on this site. Complete text of both laws can be found at the New York State Legislation website. From this opening page select the link “Laws of New York”, then choose “ENV” for Environmental Conservation Law, then pick Article 23 or Article 71 and the relevant Title.
Article 23 – Mineral Resources
Title 1 – (23-0101 – 23-0102) Definitions
Title 3 – (23-0301 – 23-0313) General Provisions
Title 5 – (23-0501 – 23-0503) Well Permits and Well Spacing in Oil and Natural Gas Pools and Fields
Title 7 – (23-0701) Voluntary Integration and Unitization in Oil and Natural Gas Pools and Fields
Title 9 – (23-0901) Compulsory Integration and Unitization in Oil and Natural Gas Pools and Fields
Title 11 – (23-1101 – 23-1103) Leases for Production and Storage of Oil and Gas on State Lands
Title 13 – (23-1301 – 23-1307) Underground Storage of Gas
Title 17 – (23-1701 – 23-1727) Liquefied Natural And Petroleum Gas
Title 19 – (23-1901 – 23-1903) Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulation and Reclamation Fee
Title 21 – (23-2101) Interstate Compact to Conserve Oil and Gas
Title 23 – (23-2301 – 23-2311) Rerefining of Used Oil
Title 24 – (23-2401 – 23-2402) New York State Oil Energy Conservation Program
Title 27 – (23-2701 – 23-2723) New York State Mined Land Reclamation Law
Article 71 – Enforcement
Title 13 – (71-1301 – 71-1311) Enforcement of Article 23
News From New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
For more information contact: Lori Severino, 518-402-8000
DEC Announces Issuance of Final Scope for Marcellus Shale Study
ALBANY, NY (02/06/2009; 1716)(readMedia)– The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has completed its Final Scope for the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program (SGEIS). The “Scope” will serve as a roadmap for the environmental study that DEC will be conducting to analyze the environmental impacts associated with high volume hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale and other low permeability gas reservoirs across the Southern Tier and into the Catskills. The Final Scope is now posted on the DEC website, at http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/
“We have heard the views of literally thousands of people from across the state and these views have helped shape the study we will be doing, assuring that all aspects of Marcellus Shale gas extraction are scrutinized and addressed,” said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis. “Where environmental impacts are anticipated, we will be looking to eliminate or mitigate those impacts and to protect the environment and communities involved.”
The purpose of the Final Scope is to outline the topics that will be reviewed in the SGEIS. It reflects DEC staff’s review of all written comments received since October 6, 2008, when the draft scope was released, as well as the transcripts of six public scoping meetings held in the Southern Tier and Catskills between November 6 and December 4, 2008. A total of 188 verbal statements were received at the scoping meetings, and over 3,770 written statements were received via mail, email, or comment cards submitted at the meetings. Commentators included elected officials, various federal, state and local government agencies, environmental groups, industry, other organizations and individuals.
The SGEIS will analyze the potential impacts of shale gas development using horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The draft scope raised a number of issues of concern, but focused on water and wastewater management as the most critical areas for study, based on potential environmental impacts. The comments received clearly demonstrated that the public strongly shares these concerns. Commentors also called for heightened attention to issues associated with multiple wells on a single site, and these comments resulted in significant amendments to the scope. The Scoping process also resulted in the addition of the following topics:
The Final Scope also identifies “prominent issues that were raised during scoping and determined to be not relevant or not environmentally significant or that have been adequately addressed in a prior environmental review.” Though there is an existing Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) covering gas and oil drilling in New York generally, the Commissioner had determined that, because the very deep horizontal drilling will require immense volumes of water to “hydrofracture” the shale in order to release the gas, that a Supplement (SGEIS) to the GEIS was needed to address water management and other issues associated with gas extraction in deep shale layers, including the “fracing” process. “Horizontal drilling is not new; hydrofracturing is not new and drilling into the Marcellus and Utica Shales is not new,” according to the Commissioner, “but the drilling operations proposed for the western Southern Tier involve all three of these elements, greatly expanding water use and the need for clearly understood and environmentally protective practices.”
Now that the scoping process is complete, DEC will be undertaking the thorough environmental analysis required by the scope. A draft of the SGEIS expected in the spring, at which time the public will again be invited to comment.
For Release: IMMEDIATE Contact: Yancey Roy
Monday, October 6, 2008 (518) 402-8000
DEC ANNOUNCES PUBLIC HEARINGS
APRIL 26, 2010: LISTEN TO THE WAMC REPORT BY GREG FRY FEATURING MOUNTAINKEEPER
DEC decision on watersheds draws criticism
ALBANY, NY (WAMC) – There are new developments in the debate over natural gas drilling in Marcellus Shale, and new regulations aimed at protecting the water supply of New York’s most populated areas. As WAMC’s Greg Fry reports, what seems like a positive step forward in the debate, is being criticized by parties on both sides of the issue…. © Copyright 2010, WAMC
Mountainkeeper’s analysis on the Watershed Post here: http://www.watershedpost.com/2010/catskill-mountainkeepers-ramsay-adams-decs-friday-surprise
DEC Press Release here: http://catskillpost.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/4-23-10-marcellus-and-fad1.doc
DEC Announcement PDF here: http://catskillpost.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/4-23-10-marcellus-and-fad1.pdf
Energy Industry Sways Congress With Misleading Data
The two key arguments that the oil and gas industry is using to fight federal regulation of the natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing — that the costs would cripple their business and that state regulations are already strong — are challenged by the same data and reports the industry is using to bolster its position. Read the entire investigative piece here:
NEWS AND RESOURCES:
Propublica, August 6, 2008: Fractured Relations—New York City Sees Drilling as Threat to Its Water Supply
The Daily Star, August 2, 2008: More Than 1,500 Sign Gas Leases
Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, July 18, 2008: Drilling Regulations May Be Needed, Protecting Water Quality Crucial Says Governor’s Aid
New York Times Article June 29, 2008: Our Towns: Gas Driller in Race for Hearts and Land, by Peter Applebome
Mid-Hudson News Network: NY, PA share common concern over gas drililng, May 22, 2008
Associated Press: Landowners Getting Trampled in Gas Rights Rush, May 28, 2008
Shale Gas: Focus on th Marcellus Shale: Oil & Gas Accountability Project’s latest report on the Marcellus Shale and drilling for natural gas in NY and PA.
Delaware Riverkeeper: Natural Gas Drilling and Production Fact Sheet, June, 2008
Article In The Times Herald Record: The Search for Natural Gas: Western Sullivan Might Contain Vast Reserves, April 14, 2008
Article In The New York Times: There’s Gas in Those Hills, April 8, 2008
Article #1 In The River Reporter: A Primer on Gas Well Gold Rush: From the Marcellus Shale to Horizontal Drilling, February 28 – March 5, 2008
Article #2 In The River Reporter: Western PA Landowners Regret Deep Gas Wells Deals: Gasses Bubbling Out of the Ground and Into Drinking Wells and Ponds, April 10 – April 16, 2008
Editorial In The River Reporter: “?Nor Any Drop to Drink”, April 10 – April 16, 2008
WNYC Radio: Natural Gas Could Transform Sullivan County, April 15, 2008
Times Herald Record: Drilling in Sullivan Raises Many Issues, May 9, 2008
The New York Times Magazine: Drilling for Defeat, May 18, 2008
Energy Information Administration: Natural Gas Pipelines in the Northeast Region, 2008
The bill has been signed by Governor Patterson.
Read the final Summary of the Bill A10526 that passed both the House and Senate
Read the Text of Bill A10526