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October 28, 2013

Northrup: Fracking not likely in Otsego County


“It’s not likely to be productive much outside of Broome,” said Northrup, who said that such production would be characterized as below average in Pennsylvania.

This conclusion was based off cross referencing the Trenton-Black River data with data generated from gas drilling in Pennsylvania. 

As for Chenango and Otsego counties, Northrup said, “It won’t even be drilled up here.”

Indeed, Northrup said that there was only one viable drilling permit with stable financing behind it in New York currently, and that permit was in Delaware County near a trout stream. It is also in the Delaware River Basin, which currently has a moratorium on gas drilling separate from New York State’s moratorium on high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

He also said that surveys of New York’s Marcellus Shale showed that much of it was too thin to drill, and that tests of the Utica Shale had shown it to be unproductive, pointing to the recent bankruptcy of Norse Energy Corp., which bought up a large number of Utica Shale leases, and tested on them extensively.

“They basically hit dry holes,” said Northrup.

Northrup said that much of the support for natural gas drilling in New York is based around wishful thinking,

“Discount shale gas as being the salvation of the southern tier,” he said.

Even in the areas that could be drilled productively, Northrup said that drilling would not create local jobs.

“No locals are going to get hired to drill a wildcat well.”

He also said that there were dangers from gas drilling even in areas without productive gas reserves.

“Dry holes pollute,” said Northrup. “They can leak just as bad as a producer.”

He also talked about the damage that could be done to roads, and the issue of frack waste, which can legally be dumped on New York roads.

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