Hess Offering 20% Royalties and Deal Worth $66.5M to Conklin Landowner Group

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (Oct 16):
DEC hearings to allow public comment on natural gas regulations

In an article about the upcoming hearings being held by the New York DEC about draft drilling regulations, we have this tidbit of interest to landowners negotiating with drilling companies:

Others are eager for the state to complete its review so Marcellus permits can be issued early in 2010. Among them is Dan Fitzsimmons, an industry supporter and owner of about 180 acres in Conklin, who said extending the comment period would create unnecessary delays.

“They have to stick with their timetable, or they are going to have a lot of angry residents,” said Fitzsimmons, who leads a coalition of landowners in the towns of Binghamton and Conklin. Hess Corp. has offered the group a deal worth about $66.5 million, plus 20 percent royalties on production.

We also have this obligatory anti-drilling paragraph from the P&SB anti-drilling writer Tom Wilbur:

Marcellus development has the potential to produce several thousand wells in Broome County and change the physical and economic landscape. Unlike traditional wells, which are vertical, companies use larger equipment, more water and more chemicals to drill horizontally through bedrock to release gas in the Marcellus.

Cabot Resumes Drilling in Susquehanna County, PA

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (Oct 16):
DEP gives Cabot OK to resume gas operations in Pennsylvania

Cabot Oil & Gas has had several spills of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process at one of their drilling sites in Dimock Township, Pennsylvania. The spills have led to fish dying in the local Stevens Creek. The PA Department of Environmental Protection shut them down for a while and conducted a review. Cabot is now back in business. From the article:

Cabot Oil & Gas has been given approval to resume work to produce natural gas from the Marcellus Shale after spills in Dimock Township halted certain operations.

The approval came Friday after DEP officials reviewed Cabot’s plans to limit future problems and respond to emergencies.

Make Your Voice Heard on the Proposed NY Drilling Regulations

In addition to attending the hearings previously mentioned (see Public Hearings on the New York Draft SGEIS for Marcellus Shale Drilling), if you’re a landowner in New York, you can also make your voice heard about the new regulations in the following ways:

(1) Leave a comment on the specially created form on the DEC website: www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/SGEISComments/

(2) Send an e-mail to: [email protected]

(3) Write a letter to:
Attn: dSGEIS Comments
Bureau of Oil & Gas Regulation
NYSDEC Division of Mineral Resources
625 Broadway, Third Floor
Albany, NY 12233-6500

Public Hearings on the New York Draft SGEIS for Marcellus Shale Drilling

New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (Oct 13):
Press Release: DEC Schedules Public Hearings on Marcellus Shale Drilling Draft SGEIS

Landowners will want to attend the public hearings being held by the New York DEC on the draft regulations for drilling in the Marcellus Shale. The regulations are called the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). Why attend? To educate yourself on the regulations, and (if you’re so inclined), to offer your comments of support. You can be sure the anti-drillers will be out and vocal–so you need to be out and vocal too if you’re interested in ever seeing drilling commence in New York State. Here are the dates for hearings so far:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 28, Sullivan County Community College, E Building, Seelig Theater, 112 College Rd., Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10, Stuyvesant High School, High School Auditorium, 345 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10282.
  • Thursday, Nov. 12, Chenango Valley High School, High School Auditorium, 221 Chenango Bridge Rd., Chenango Bridge, NY 13901.
  • Elmira – Corning, TBD.

The doors will open at 6 p.m. for individual questions and speaker sign up (first come, first called for commenting on the record). The public comment session will start at 7 p.m. Check the DEC web site for possible changes in time or location.

From the press release:

DEC staff will be available prior to the start of each session to answer individual questions about the format and contents of the draft SGEIS. The following procedures will guide the public hearings:

  • To accommodate as many people as possible, there will be a five-minute limit on oral presentations.
  • Speakers may supplement their oral presentations with written comments. Written and oral comments receive equal consideration.
  • Formal presentations (PowerPoint, etc.) cannot be accommodated.
  • Individuals intending to speak will be required to sign-in upon arrival and will be called in the order registered.

To view (or download) the 809-page draft SGEIS, go to this page: www.dec.ny.gov/energy/58440.html