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ENB - Region 9 Notices 11/23/2011

Public Notice

Notice of Public Comment Period

Proposed Well Spacing Variance

Project Description and Location: U.S. Energy Development Corp. (U.S. Energy or Applicant) has applied for a well permit and variance to the well spacing requirements set forth in Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) Section 553.1(a) to drill the Laporte 1 (API 31-013-30000-00-00) Medina natural gas well on acreage to be designated as the Laporte 1 Spacing Unit in the Town of Westfield, Chautauqua County, New York. The Applicant proposes to drill, complete and produce the well, but needs a variance from the well spacing provisions set forth under 6 NYCRR 553.1(a) which require that, in the absence of a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) order establishing spacing units, a well cannot be located less than 660 feet from any boundary line of the lease or unit. A permit to drill is also required by 6 NYCRR 552.1.

NYS DEC has proposed an order regarding the granting of a well spacing variance. NYS DEC supports the granting of the requested variance and issuance of the drilling permit.

Public Comment Period: All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies which may be affected by the draft order are invited to submit written comments. The public comment period will remain open until December 23, 2011. Written comments on the draft order should be submitted to: Peter S. Briggs, NYS DEC - Division of Mineral Resources, Bureau of Oil & Gas Permitting and Management, 625 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 12233-6500, Phone: (518) 402-8056.

If no substantive and significant issues are identified regarding the draft order at the end of the comment period, the order will become final and binding on the Applicant and its successors and assigns. Pursuant to the final order, NYS DEC will grant the variance and issue a permit to drill the Laporte 1 well at the proposed location subject to site-specific conditions as warranted.

Issuance of the permit to drill will provide for recovery of the natural gas resource in accordance with the policy provisions of ECL §23-0301. If after order issuance, U.S. Energy does not control 100% of the acreage within the spacing unit, an integration hearing will be scheduled pursuant to ECL §23-0901(3).

Document Availability: All filed documents (including the permit application, the variance request and the draft order) are available for inspection during normal business hours at the NYS DEC's - Division of Mineral Resources, 625 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Albany, New York 12233-6500, Phone: (518) 402-8056, Contact: Thomas E. Noll; at the NYS DEC's - Region 9 Sub-Office, 182 East Union Street, Allegany, New York 14706-1328, Phone: (716) 372-0645, Contact: Christopher Miller; and at the Town of Westfield Supervisor's office, Town Office, 23 Elm Street, Westfield, NY 14787, Phone: (716) 326-3211, Contact: Martha R. Bills.

Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: This application was filed and is being processed pursuant to ECL Article 3, Title 3 (NYS DEC, General Functions, Powers, Duties and Jurisdiction); Article 8 (Environmental Quality Review); Article 23 (Mineral Resources); and 6 NYCRR Part 550 et seq. (Mineral Resources); Part 617 (State Environmental Quality Review).


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