Thursday, January 5, 2012

New on the NYS DEC Database: Utica Shale Gas Well Proposed in Madison County, NY

[Update April 2, 2012:  The proposed Spacing Unit Map associated with this application has been obtained in PDF form and uploaded here.]

Since the light at the end of New York State's shale gas tunnel finally got tentatively switched on — sometime during the Summer of 2011 — there have so far been four full-scale drill permit applications, all from the otherwise-water-treading operator, Norse Energy.

On the one hand, this is promising news, because Norse's applications are at least symbolic of pent-up business interest in fulfilling existing deals with the resource owners by getting drilling.  This is happening despite New York's current political and regulatory climate for this business, which the forces of ideology, media, fashion, and popular belief have essentially moved — over several years of strategic persuasive effort — toward an outright, uninformed, seething, and reflexive hostility.

On the other hand, this is depressing news.  We are now nearly four full calendar years since the first such shale gas application upstate was unsuccessfully submitted by industry (Feb. 15, 2008).  While Governor Cuomo gives speech after speech proclaiming New York State is now "open for business," his regulators are still barring this particular door.  Since 2008, the DEC
has pocket-vetoed all of these drilling requests through delay after delay after delay — rather than finally simply letting this part of the private sector do its regulated, taxable, unsubsidized job already.

The four queued shale gas applications — two in the Utica, two in the Marcellus — break down like this:

The first, a Utica project, pitched for Smyrna Township, Chenango County, was dubbed the Norse-Housing 1H.

The second, a proposed Marcellus well, was the Nowalk, R. 3H in the Town of Smithville, Chenango County.

The third, also a Marcellus, straddled the town line between Chenango County's McDonough and Smithville, the Martin, C. 1H.

Now here's a map and the spec's on the fourth:

API Well Number:  31053300000000
Well Name:  Branagan, A 1H
Company Name:  Norse Energy Corp USA
Well Type:  Not Listed
Well Status:  App to Drill/Plug/Convert
Objective Formation:  Utica
County:  Madison
Town:  Lebanon
Permit Application Date:  12/27/2011
Well Orientation:  Horizontal
Surface Longitude:  -75.651178
Surface Latitude:  42.808004
Bottom Hole Longitude:  -75.661483
Bottom Hole Latitude:  42.822831
True Vertical Depth:  4453
Bottom Hole Total Measured Depth:  10347
Drilled Depth:  10347
Proposed Well Type:  Gas Wildcat
Spacing Acres:  573.63

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