Norse Energy Fire Sale of 130K Acres in NY

Norse Energy’s big gamble that New York would allow shale gas drilling sooner than now has not paid off and they are throwing in the towel, attempting to find a buyer for their 130,000-acre leasehold in the state.

Norse Energy, once the most active drilling firm in central and southern New York, is putting its land rights up for sale.

The Norway-based company began an effort this week to advertise the availability of its 130,000-acre leasehold in Broome, Chenango and Monroe counties, an area expected with a strong potential for natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations.

Norse has fallen approximately $90 million in debt while waiting for regulatory changes in the state that would allow it to begin tapping shale formations for natural gas, according to Dennis Holbrook, the company’s executive vice president.

"We’ve paid a tremendous price for that decision to rely on the process moving forward in New York more timely than it has," he said.*

*Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (Oct 21, 2011) – Norse Energy puts N.Y. land rights for sale