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2015 Summary & Trends - Oil, Gas and Solution Mining

Production, Market Value and Economic Impact

New York State natural gas production in 2015 was 17.9 billion cubic feet (bcf), down 12.6% from the previous year. Trenton-Black River production declined 11.5% to 7.5 bcf, accounting for 41.8% of 2015 gas production. Gas production from the Herkimer decreased 13.4% from the previous year to 1.1 bcf in 2015, while gas production from the Medina decreased by 12.7% to 6.7 bcf. Oil production decreased 21% from the previous year to 283,089 barrels (bbls) in 2015.

The oil and gas produced in New York State in 2015 is valued at an estimated $54.2 million. Approximately $1.6 million was generated for local government taxes. Approximately $6.8 million was generated in royalties for landowners. Oil and gas development occurs in the most western parts of the state and the Finger Lakes region.

Wells

In 2015, New York well owners reported 14,941 wells (all regulated well types). Most of these wells were drilled to explore for and/or produce oil or natural gas. Other well types reported in the 2015 total include underground gas storage, solution salt mining, geothermal, brine disposal, monitoring, and stratigraphic. The total number of wells completed decreased 77% to 48 in 2015.

In 2015, a total of 253 operators reported 2,415 wells with no (zero) production for the entire year. This is in addition to over 3,500 orphan and unplugged wells in the Department's records.

In 2015, New York held $23.1 million in financial security to guarantee well plugging and site reclamation.

Regulatory Activity

In 2015, the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC or Department) Division of Mineral Resources (DMN or Division) issued 59 drilling permits in 2015, and operators plugged 232 wells in accordance with DMN-issued plugging permits. Total drilled depth of the wells for the year was approximately 111,307 feet (or 21.1 miles).

No compulsory integration hearings were conducted in 2015.

DMN's Oil and Gas staff traveled 81,202 miles to perform 3,955 inspections in 2015. Staff inspect well sites:

  • during permit application review;
  • during drilling and plugging work, with emphasis on cementing operations;
  • to ensure regulatory requirements are followed and that violations, if any, are remediated;
  • during production and prior to ownership transfers to ensure compliance;
  • to ensure that reclamation meets requirements; and
  • to investigate complaints.

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