Was on a panel with Colgate’s Professor Bruce Selleck in Utica, and he struck me as perhaps a closet frackademic, Terry Engelder Lite. This became apparent when he defended New York’s lack of a severance tax as being unexceptional (it is not), which had much to do with shale shilling and little to do with the geology, which he was empaneled to address. So was not surprised by his reaction to the work presented on New York’s shale gas potential at Cornell. Bruce Selleck is evidently just another a frackademic, parroting the gas industry’s lines. Bruce Selleck’s Utica Fairway was one of drivers of the Shale Game in New York
Here’s Tom Wilber on the matter:
“Bruce Selleck is a geologist at Colgate University who has identified the prospective area for shale gas development – or “fairway” — in New York to extend well into upstate New York, west to Chemung County, east to Sullivan County and north to Oneida County.
Both the Marcellus and Utica shales are clearly cooked off before they get to Sullivan County – as everyone in the industry now knows. Only the eastern portion of Chemung might be viable. The productive extent of the Marcellus is generally limited to south of I-88, much less all the way north to Oneida County. None of this is news to knowledgeable industry insiders. Selleck evidently did not get those memos.
The Marcellus shale alone is capable of producing 5 trillion to 10 trillion cubic feet of gas, by Selleck’s estimate. (Compared to the NYS DEC’s 150 Tcf)
Had he come to the presentation, Selleck or watched the power point online (click to reload) would know that we were addressing the spatial/geographical extent of the productive area – including the surface constraints on well pads– not recoverable reserve estimates – which ignore both the economics of recoverability and the real world constraints on the surface. Economics and surface constraints – including state and local regulations – limit drillable and hence recoverable reserves.
His take on the presentation at Cornell? “All the blah-blah-blah rhetoric in this ‘finding’ makes it clear that the folks involved don’t want to see gas development in New York – not surprising given the ‘experts’ involved.”
The experts on the panel included the retired Executive Vice President of Mobil Oil, a retied Lockeed Martin Systems engineer, a geologist and a private equity O&G investor. Lou and I have a combined 60 years in the business, which encompasses the review of hundreds of petroleum reserve reports, thousands of wells drilled and fracked and, in my case, the equity ownership of the rigs used to drill the wells. Jerry Acton is a graduate of The United States Naval Academy, a Viet Nam veteran, and a retired Lockheed Martin Systems Engineer. Brian Brock has done geological work for both the USGS and NY Geological Survey. All the analysis is based on publicly available data – much of it sourced from the DEC, DEP and industry.
He offered his assessment in a recent email, along with this elaboration:
That companies are dropping leases simply means they are not planning to drill the properties anytime soon, indicating their estimation of the value of the recoverable gas at current prices makes development in these frontier areas non-economic, in the near term. The dry gas market is flush right now, and will likely remain that way for 3-5 years. The lack of permitting of HVHF in NY is of course an additional factor.
The HVHF permit applications on file are a clear indication of the geographic extent of the play. We address the geological viability (favorable) economics (not so favorable) and regulatory viability (iffy) of those permits apps.
Even if the Marcellus reserve is in the 5 TCF range in NY, development could prove attractively economic down the road when gas prices are higher. Five TCF of gas would require 2500-4000 wells to ultimately recover that resource. That scale of development would still bring significant royalties to landowners, along with other economic benefits, and all the negative impacts, as well.”
Selleck confuses reserve estimates with rigs on the ground – drill pad sites – which are limited to a fraction of the productive area. We address the economic and surface constraints – which drive the economic and environmental impacts.
The Utica is even more of an unknown in NY, so any statements made about its potential are based on very little data. I expect a few of the companies in NE PA will try the Utica at some point soon.”
The Utica has already been heavily tested in New York State – by Amoco, Gastem, Norse Energy and by hundreds of wells drilled through it to lower formations, as Lou Allstadt’s presentation details. The results of all this data collection is that there are no Utica HVHF drilling permit applications on file with the DEC
This is Bruce Selleck’s idea of where the Utica Fairway was supposed to be. Before reality proved otherwise. The Utica is cooked off in most of this area, as the information in the NY dSGEIS indicated and the test well dry holes confirmed. The Cornell presentations explain why Selleck’s Utica fairway was more rough than fair.
“Birds of a feather . . . “
“Polly wanna fracker ?”