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2012 Executive Summary & Trends - Oil, Gas and Solution Mining

Production, Market Value and Economic Impact

New York State natural gas production in 2012 was 26.4 billion cubic feet (bcf), down 15% from the previous year. Trenton-Black River production declined 20% to 12.10 bcf, accounting for 45% of 2012 gas production. Gas production from the Herkimer decreased 14% from the previous year to 1.96 bcf in 2012, while gas production from the Medina decreased by 8% to 9.11 bcf. Oil production increased 5.4% from the previous year to 394,507 barrels (bbls) in 2012.

The oil and gas produced in New York State in 2012 is valued at an estimated $103.61 million. Approximately $3.11 million was generated for local government taxes. Approximately $12.95 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.


In 2012, New York well owners reported 14,473 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 2012 total include underground gas storage, solution salt mining, geothermal, brine disposal and stratigraphic.

The total number of wells completed decreased 32% to 182 in 2012. For the fourth consecutive year, no new Trenton-Black River fields commenced production. In 2012, production from wells completed in the Herkimer fell below 2 bcf of annual production for the first time in three years. In 2012 there were a total of 51 wells statewide with Herkimer production.

In 2012 a total of 168 operators reported 1,767 wells with zero production. This is in addition to over 3,500 orphaned and inactive wells in the Department's records.

In 2012, New York held $23.88 million to guarantee well plugging and site reclamation.

Regulatory Activity

Drilling permits issued decreased 31% to 175 in 2012. Total drilled depth of the wells for the year was approximately 344,266 feet (or 65.2 miles).

The Division of Mineral Resources (DMN) conducted 7 compulsory integration hearings in 2012, which resulted in 6 finalized orders.

In 2012, DMN's Oil and Gas staff performed 2,265 inspections and traveled 67,433 miles. Staff inspected 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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