Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Curious Non-Issue . . .

There has been a lot of talking about the Marcellus Shale and Hydrofracking ... whether gas recovery is a good thing or a bad thing.  It certainly presents an opportunity, but also a threat.

It is doubtful that fracking will take place locally, and the controversy here seems a time waster.  The boundary of the Marcellus just touches southern Oneida County and it is likely too shallow to be productive.  The same can be said of the Utica Shale, which is productive in Ohio, but outcrops (comes to the surface) in . . . Utica, which is where it got its name. (I have a garden full of it!).  It really should be a non-issue here.

But what IS a non-issue and perhaps should not be is the fact that New York State is one of very few oil and gas producers that has no mineral severance tax.  It's hard to believe that there is a tax that NYS does not have, but this is one.  While it is doubtful that NYS could fuel state government with such a tax (like Texas or Alaska), it might be worthwhile to consider enough of a tax to pay for the oversight of the industry.

Pros and Cons of such a tax should be considered, of course, but it seems that it should be considered now with all the controversy.  


RPP said...

This is a very interesting post. Why are our "leaders" who have departments like regional planning not telling us of the limitations of the resource here? Many people and groups are spending a lot of time and money on the issue. Where is our community direction?

Austinwalker said...

Little known fact:
The Rome Citizen
October 29, 1897
What a Wonder it Was Not Discovered
Before This.
It flows as much in 24 Hours as
the Rome Gas Light Company
Manufactures in a Month,
1,000,000 cubic feet.
Think of it ! Estimated 1,000,000 cubic feet of natural gas coming out of J. S.Haselton's well every 24 hours, at his home on Garden Street, being the amount
manufactured by the Rome Gas Light
company in a month.
When the big vein was struck mud and pieces of the drillings came up through the well and the workmen drilling had to hustle to get the lanterns out of the
shanty where the drilling was going on,for fear of an explosion. The well was blown dry, and as no water could be turned into the opening, so that the drill
might be worked deeper, the well was considered sunk, the depth being 891 feet,with about 300 feet of Trenton lime stone,in which the big vein was struck.

Strikeslip said...

Thanks for the tid bit Austin. I wasn't thinking of the Trenton when I wrote the piece since it has not been in the news... the buzz being over Marcellus and Utica shales. I pulled out some geology books and the Trenton limestone has been productive in the past. Since the Trenton is older and underlies the Utica shale it might be a possible gas reservoir under Utica. I would have thought that would have been investigated bt now...but maybe not.

Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

There's plenty of gas in Utica. Just take a walk thru City Hall.