Quackenbush Hill Field - Ruling, January 8, 2002
Ruling, January 8, 2002
STATE OF NEW YORK :DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
In the Matter
the Proposed Field-wide Spacing and Integration Rules for the Quackenbush Hill Field
January 8, 2002
DMN Project No. DMN-01-2
By notice dated November 29, 2001, the Department of Environmental Conservation scheduled a hearing on the proposed establishment of field-wide spacing and integration rules for a natural gas field known as the Quackenbush Hill Field. The acreage designated as the Quackenbush Hill Field is located in the Town of Corning, Steuben County and in the Towns of Big Flats and Catlin, Chemung County.
The notice of hearing set December 26, 2001 as the deadline for petitions for party status, January 3, 2002 as the date for the legislative (public comment) hearing and January 4, 2002 as the date for the issues conference regarding this proposal. On January 2, 2002, the Department of Environmental Conservation Staff (DEC Staff) transmitted to me a letter which stated that no issues had been proposed regarding four of the five units, nor regarding the future spacing and integration rules, and that the issues which had been proposed pertained only to distribution of royalties within the Gregory unit. The letter requested a ruling which would allow the DEC Staff to prepare and complete a Commissioner's Decision and Order establishing units and releasing royalties for the four units not affected by the proposed issues, and establishing future spacing and integration rules for the Quackenbush Hill Field. The DEC Staff requested that this ruling be made, provided that there were not any adequate late-filed petitions for party status.
At the issues conference on January 4, no additional persons requested party status and no persons proposed any issues for adjudication regarding either the future spacing and integration rules or the four units which are the subject of the DEC Staff's request. These are the Lovell, Henkel, Rhodes, and Hartman units. The issues which were proposed have to do with whether two lots in the Town of Catlin should be integrated in the unit and with the interests claimed by the person who has the mineral rights lease for these lots. These proposed issues relate to matters within the Gregory unit. At the issues conference, there was also a brief discussion regarding the DEC Staff's request, and no persons objected to it.
The procedure described in the DEC Staff's request is consistent with the procedure directed by Commissioner Erin M. Crotty in a similar situation which arose in the hearing on the Wilson Hollow Field (Interim Decision dated June 5, 2001).
I will issue a separate ruling regarding party status and regarding which, if any, of the proposed issues about matters in the Gregory unit require adjudication. The present ruling is being issued separately in order to avoid unnecessary delay in issuance of a Decision and Order regarding the uncontested aspects of the proposal.
RULING: The DEC Staff may prepare and complete a Commissioner's Decision and Order establishing units and releasing royalties for the four units not affected by the proposed issues (the Lovell, Henkel, Rhodes, and Hartman units), and establishing future spacing and integration rules for the Quackenbush Hill Field. The DEC Staff may submit this proposed Decision and Order to the Commissioner for her review.
Susan J. DuBois
Administrative Law Judge
Albany, New York
January 8, 2002
TO: Arlene J. Lotters, Esq.
John H. Heyer, Esq.
Christopher B. Wallace, Esq.
Richard M. Roper
Charles Edward Fagan, Esq.