The third and final speaker at the April 10 Central New York Landowner’s Coalition (CNYLC) meeting held at the Unadilla Valley Central School was Don Zaengle, a consulting petroleum geologist from Worcester, NY. Zaengle opened his talk with a map showing an outline of those regions in New York State that fall within the Marcellus Shale zone. He said New York State has 12 million acres of potential Marcellus Shale, but not all of it is commercially viable. To put it in context, the entire Appalachian Plateau, which is the area in the Eastern United States that contains Marcellus Shale reaching from New York as far south as Georgia and Alabama, has some 34 million acres in it. So New York State represents about 35% of the entire Marcellus Shale region by acreage.
Zaengle showed a cross section of different shale and sandstone deposits and briefly discussed a few of the different types of shale found in the Central New York region. The exciting news is that Marcellus wells far out produce other types of natural gas wells. An example: It takes six Herkimer Sandstone/Oneida gas wells to equal the production of just one Marcellus Shale gas well. Or put the other way around, one Marcellus gas well equals (revenue-wise) six Herkimer Sandstone/Oneida wells.
Another example Zaengle offered to give attendees an idea of the importance of the Marcellus Shale: In Dimock Township, Pennsylvania, Cabot Oil & Gas has drilled a number of wells in a seven-mile area. The well production from that small area over the course of a single year is on track to generate $180 million in gross revenue. The Marcellus gas play is huge.
Cabot Oil & Gas fracked a well in the Dimock, PA area called Teel #6. It is a vertical well and the fracking “interval” is 370 feet, spanning several different rock layers. The interesting thing is that Cabot has been able to extract gas from many of the non-Marcellus layers, indicating energy companies may be interested in leasing land for non-Marcellus plays as well.