Excellent presentations at Cornell Geology Department Building. Audience of 200 and great Q&A. Hosted by Dr. Ingraffea and planned by Sara Hess, Irene Weiser and Karen Edelstein. The Power Points will be narrated online, then a video out of the presenters – Lou Allstadt, ex Executive Vice President Mobil Oil, Jerry Acton, ex Lockheed Martin, Brian Brock, retired geologist, and yours truly. Summary of presentations here.
Cornell Panelists: Most N.Y. Shale Likely Unprofitable
Little local economic gain. Collateral damage likely.
Written by Andrew Casler
ITHACA — Hydrofracking would bring little economic gain to New York state and more environmental fallout, according to a group that presented at Cornell University.
Those findings were challenged as invalid by representatives of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York.
The presentation Wednesday night focused on where natural gas reserves might be found in New York state. More than 200 people attended.
Moderately productive areas in New York can be found in the southern parts of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware and Tioga counties, according to Jerry Acton, of Berkshire, one of the Cornell panelists.
Other parts of the state, including Tompkins County, likely won’t be economically viable for horizontal hydrofracking, Acton said. He is a former systems engineer at Lockheed Martin.
Going north from Bradford, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties in northern Pennsylvania, the projected profitability of horizontal hydrofracking drops off greatly, Acton said.
Areas adjacent to fracking wells would see less economic reward, and more risk. Those places, called collateral damage areas, could see fracking waste and drill cuttings dumping, but they would not receive the economic benefits from drilling, the panelists said.
Spokesmen from Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York said the panelists’ findings should be sidelined because the group is composed of anti-fracking activists with ulterior motives.
“They’re a joke,” IOGANY spokesman Jim Smith, of East Greenbush, said. “They’re really activists posing as educators.” Smith didn’t attend Wednesday’s session, but he was familiar with the group’s presentation.
Mr. Smith must be clairvoyant, in that Lou Allstadt, Brian Brock and I had never presented this information before. JLN
Event moderator, Cornell engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea, of Ithaca, brought the panelists to the school.
“None of them are (anti-fracking activists),” Ingraffea said. He added that some of the panelists, himself included, have taken positions that they don’t want to see shale gas development in New York.
Parsing quotes with parentheses ? Lou and I have been involved in the oil & gas business for over 60 years, combined. Which in Lou’s case alone includes thousands of vertical wells drilled and fracked. So to categorize us as “anti-fracking activists” is technically incorrect, even in parentheses. JLN
The group is composed of Acton; Lou Allstadt, a retired Mobil Oil Corporation executive vice president for exploration and producing; Chip Northrup, a retired oil and gas investor and planning manager at Atlantic Richfield; and Brian Brock, a retired geologist.
Acton projected New York state hydrofracking viability by analyzing public data on wells in Pennsylvania.
Acton said he found that Marcellus Shale thickness and depth corresponded to well’s productivity. Using that information, he said the majority of New York Marcellus shale is too thin and shallow to be economically viable for most drillers.
“Are we going to have a drilling boom in central New York? Very unlikely,” said Allstadt, of Cooperstown.
Still, Allstadt said he expects exploratory wells throughout the state if hydrofracking is allowed. “There are thousands of drilling companies, and there are always some that just have to take a shot some place.”
IOGANY spokesman John Holko, of Ogden, attended the Wednesday panel. Holko argues that New York shale gas opportunities are more plentiful than the group said.
If Mr Holko was there, he did not bother to challenge the findings. JLN
He said drillers must be allowed to pursue opportunities. “We can’t develop the economics unless we pursue the opportunity,” Holko said.
Mr. Holkos must have nodded off. We addressed the opportunities in detail for 2 hours, economics included. JLN