Marcellus Shale Drilling in New York
Although Chesapeake is the most active explorer of deep natural gas shales in the nation, we are not currently drilling in the New York portion of the Marcellus Shale. The reason for this lack of exploration activity is the implementation of a lengthy regulatory process, which has limited the ability to permit and drill certain types of wells within the state.
All affected stakeholders, including the natural gas industry, are currently working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) to prepare a supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (sGEIS). The supplement is designed to evaluate, review and address the potential environmental impacts of natural gas and oil operations that were not foreseen in the most recent sGEIS revision completed in 1992. Specifically, the sGEIS is reviewing issues unique to horizontal drilling and the completion of those wells using a commonly used and well regulated process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within the deep shale play of New York.
- New York has a long history of natural gas production. New York’s first commercial natural gas well was dug by hand to a depth of 27 feet in 1821 in Fredonia, New York. It has been a part of the state’s heritage ever since.
- There are more than 14,000 active wells in the state.
- The Marcellus Shale, spanning across parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and southern New York, has the potential to be one of the largest natural gas fields in North America.
- The application of horizontal drilling coupled with fracking techniques allows us to unlock the vast potential of reserves in the Marcellus Shale.
- Fracking has been used to stimulate wells of all kinds since the 1940s.
- New York’s well-established regulatory program, overseen by the DEC, conducts a rigorous permitting process.