MAP – Tompkins

The Marcellus Accountability Project
for Tompkins County

Marcellus Shale Development:

Geology and Development Potential of the Marcellus Shale from

Tioga County Map of Gas Leases

Partial Map of Gas Leases in Onondaga County
A map of some of the gas leases in Onondaga County, collected by volunteers from Neighbors of Onondaga Nation in Onondaga County. This is a work in progress.

Marcellus Shale Basic Information (2009)
"Get Ready for the Gas Rush," Sue Smith-Heavenrich, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Newsletter, Summer 2009
A well-written overview of the Marcellus shale, the size of the gas resource, and the potential problems caused by gas drilling. The first article in a 3-part series.

Energy Companies Ready to Drill the Marcellus Shale in N.Y. (1/10/2010)
"Revving Up: Energy Companies Poised to Drill Marcellus Shale in N.Y.," Tom Wilbur, Ithaca Journal, 1/10/10)
Tom Wilber contrasts the regulatory systems and drilling prospects in Pennsylvania and New York. Includes commentary on both the positive and negative impacts drilling has had in Pennsylvania. The Southern Tier can expect a rate of development similar to that in Pennsylvania once the final SGEIS comes out.

Shale Gas Reserves May Not Contain as Much Gas as Predicted: Censored Article (11/5/09)
Arthur Berman’s article, originally written for World Oil, but pulled after pressure was exerted by Petrohawk Energy, a shale-gas producing company. It discusses how shale-gas reserves may not contain as much gas that is economical to extract as has been predicted. It ends with, “The time has come for the companies that operate in the shale plays to show the data that supports their optimistic forecasts for natural gas supply in the US. The economic viability of shale gas is a serious issue with profound implications for capital investment, alternate energy research funding and national policy. To simply say that those that have doubts about shale plays are wrong will no longer satisfy the many intelligent people who follow this debate.”

Lessons from the Barnett Shale Suggest Caution in Other Shale Plays: 2009 Industry Study
Short article by Arthur Berman, a consultant in the oil and gas industry, discussing how production trends in the Barnett Shale have not lived up to predictions, and advocating caution in making wildly optimistic predictions on production from the Marcellus Shale. Among shale layers currently in production, the Barnett is thought to be the one most similar to the Marcellus. He found that production from the Barnett Shale was greatly overestimated both in time and amount, that horizontal wells were not significantly more productive than vertical wells, and that average horizontal well performance has declined steadily since 2003.

Draft NYS Energy Plan (August 2009)--Emphasizes Developing the Marcellus Shale
The comprehensive plan for New York State's energy future came out in draft form on August 10, 2009 and public comments may be submitted in writing until October 9, 2009. Public hearings are scheduled in Long Island, Brooklyn, Albany, Kingston, and Utica throughout September.

Fact Sheet on Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling by Delaware Riverkeeper, August 2009
Very thorough discussion, well referenced, on the progress of drilling so far and existing regulations in the NY/PA region.  Includes a long discussion of adverse environmental and health effects.

Hancock and the Marcellus Shale, Spring 2009, Columbia U. Urban Design Research Seminar
Subtitled “Visioning the Impacts of Natural Gas Extraction Along the Upper Delaware,” this 35-page report discusses the potential effects of gas drilling—both positive and negative—on the Town of Hancock, NY.  Includes excellent underground diagrams of how gas is held in and extracted from shale (pp. 4-5), and an overview of the gas extraction process. Looks, also, at the economic costs and benefits (pp. 16-21), tax subsidies for gas (p. 31), the history of gas production in the US (pp. 28-29), and the role of the Marcellus in energy independence for the US (pp. 32-33).  Superb photos and diagrams.

Tompkins County Planning Department Comments on Draft Scope (Dec. 2008)
Gives a clear, concise account of potential cumulative impacts of gas drilling on Tompkins County, along with comments on what should be addressed in the SGEIS. Very short, readable, and helpful.

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Natural Gas Development Resource Center
Presents information that promotes Marcellus Shale developing and leasing as well as information on the adverse impacts of gas drilling.  Numerous links to documents and other web sites.

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