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Statewide Spacing Unit Sizes and Setbacks

Section 23-0501 of the Environmental Conservation Law applies to well permits for oil and gas wells which are OUTSIDE of:

  • oil fields or pools which were discovered, developed and operated prior to January 1, 1981; and
  • natural gas fields or pools which were discovered, developed and operated prior to January 1, 1995 and are not being extended.

Section 23-0501.1(B)(1) establishes statewide spacing for gas wells outside of pre-1995 fields, as summarized below. Well permits for units which conform to statewide spacing will be issued after a notice of intent is published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin. A spacing order is not required for a unit which conforms to statewide spacing.

Regulatory statewide spacing as established by Part 553 of 6 NYCRR applies to oil wells and wells in pre-1995 gas fields.

Statewide Spacing for Gas Wells Subject to Title 5
Pool Depth Conforming Unit Size (Ac.) Well and Boundary Distance Requirements
Medina Gas any depth 36 to 44
(plus, if applicable, the number of additional acres necessary and sufficient to ensure the horizontal wellbore within the target formation is no less than 460 feet from any unit boundary
Wellbore within the target formation is no less than 460 feet from any unit boundary
Onondaga Reef or Oriskany Gas any depth 144 to 176
(plus, if applicable, the number of additional acres necessary and sufficient to ensure the horizontal wellbore within the target formation is no less than 660 feet from any unit boundary)
Wellbore within the target formation no less than 660 feet from any unit boundary
Fault-bounded Trenton and/or Black River Hydrothermal Dolomite Gas 4,000' to 8,000' 288 to 352 Proposed productive section of the wellbore within the target formation no less than one-half mile from any other well in another unit in the same pool and no less than 1,000 feet from any unit boundary that is not defined by a field-bounding fault but in no event less than 660 feet from any unit boundary
below 8,000' 608 to 672 Proposed productive section of the wellbore within the target formation no less than one mile from any other well in another unit in the same pool and no less than 1,500 feet from any unit boundary that is not defined by a field bounding fault but in no event less than 660 feet from any unit boundary
Shale Gas
(Vertical Well)
any depth 36 to 44 Wellbore within the target formation no less than 460 feet from any unit boundary
Shale Gas
(Horizontal Well - written commitment to drill infill wells with all horizontal infill wells to be drilled from a common pad within three years of the first well drilled)
any depth Up to 640 Initial horizontal wellbore or wellbores within the target formation approximately centered in the unit and no wellbore in target formation less than 330 feet from any unit boundary
Shale Gas
(Horizontal Well - no written commitment to drill infill wells)
any depth 36 to 44
(plus, if applicable, the number of additional acres necessary and sufficient to ensure the horizontal wellbore within the target formation is no less than 330 feet from any unit boundary)
Wellbore within the target formation no less than 330 feet from any unit boundary
All Other Gas Pools above 4,000' 72 to 88
(plus, if applicable, the number of additional acres necessary and sufficient to ensure the horizontal wellbore within the target formation is no less than 460 feet from any unit boundary)
Wellbore within the target formation no less than 460 feet from any unit boundary
4,000' to 6,000' 144 to 176
(plus, if applicable, the number of additional acres necessary and sufficient to ensure the horizontal wellbore within the target formation is no less than 660 feet from any unit boundary)
Wellbore within the target formation no less than 660 feet from any unit boundary
6,000' to 8,000' 288 to 352
(plus, if applicable, the number of additional acres necessary and sufficient to ensure the horizontal wellbore within the target formation is no less than 1,000 feet from any unit boundary)
Wellbore within the target formation no less than 1,000 feet from any unit boundary
below 8,000' 608 to 672
(plus, if applicable, the number of additional acres necessary and sufficient to ensure the horizontal wellbore within the target formation is no less than 1,500 feet from any unit boundary)
Wellbore within the target formation no less than 1,500 feet from any unit boundary
Bass Island, Trenton, Black River, Onondaga, or Other Reef Oil Pools any depth 36 to 44
(plus, if applicable, the number of additional acres necessary and sufficient to ensure the horizontal wellbore within the target formation is no less than 460 feet from any unit boundary)
Wellbore within the target formation no less than 460 feet from any unit boundary
All Other Oil Pools any depth None Wellbore within the target formation no less than 165 feet from any lease boundary

More about Statewide Spacing Unit Sizes and Setbacks:

  • Well Spacing Orders - The Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law requires public notice and hearing to implement field-wide spacing and integration rules when necessary to prevent waste, provide greater ultimate recovery of the hydrocarbon resource and protect the correlative rights of all owners, including landowners.
  • Scheduled Well Spacing Hearings - Well spacing hearings.
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