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SGEIS Socioeconomic Hype Voodoo Frackonomics 2.0

SGEIS Socioeconomic Hype Voodoo Frackonomics 2.0

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SGEIS socioeconomic report overstates benefits by a factor of 5 x
SGEIS socioeconomic report overstates benefits by a factor of 5 x

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Published by: James "Chip" Northrup on Sep 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Socioeconomic Study Is Premised On Incorrect Reserve Estimates
The socio-economic grossly overstates the benefits of horizontal hydrofracking because itgrossly overstates the amount of recoverable reserves. In truth,
the report does not showany reserve estimates used to determine the number of wells, flow rates, etc
 – amajor flaw in the methodology. It states that it used estimates from the IOGA, which mayhave over-stated reserves by a factor of 5.These reserve estimates should have beenclearly stated along with their precise source. One can infer from the number of wells andtheir expected production
that the study is based on the now discredited 2011 EIAestimates for recoverable reserves in the Marcellus
, approximately 400 Trillion cubicfeet, an estimate that was off by a factor of 5 according to the more recent and more precise USGS estimate of 80 Tcf for the total Marcellus in four states.
The USGS report was not released until after the socio-economic study was completed. See Figure 1 below.
 The extent and productivity of shale gas development has been invariably overstated by“pure play” shale gas companies, by IOGA and gas boosters.
The first step is toexaggerate the productive area of the shale and the amount of recoverable reserves.
Thatis what happened with the socioeconomic study, it is premised on over-blownreserve estimates, by a factor of 5 or more.
Fig. 1 Recoverable Reserve Estimates of the Marcellus Formation
2In most New York counties, HVHF exploration in the Marcellus will be a rank- prospecting exercise - since the geological conditions that exist in border counties inPennsylvania simply do not cross the border very far into New York.
Bradford County,Pa. is near the maximum shale thickness, as shown below. The border counties to thewest of Bradford, which are similar to Otsego and Chenango, are already provingmarginal.
 While profitability is more than a function of shale thickness, the isopach gives us a firstorder indication of where to drill. The prospects for the Marcellus in New York have been consistently overstated - and this has led to grossly unrealistic expectations.
We canquantify the environmental hazards better than we can forecast the economic upside, sowildcat wells should be treated with an appropriate amount of caution – if allowed at all.Figure 2 shows what the Marcellus looks like to a geologist - the gross shale thickness infeet along the Pennsylvania / New York border.
Fig. 2 Gross Thickness of the Marcellus in N. Pa./S. NY.
Most of the Marcellus in New York is composed of the Oatka formation, which isconsidered “gray shale” as opposed to “black shale”; meaning it has a lower carboncontent, and therefore, less likely to be economic.. See Figure 3.The Union Springs formation is the “Marcellus” target in N. Pa. The isopach of theUnion Springs formation indicates that only a few border counties in New York are likelyto qualify as being economically viable for shale gas exploration – Chemung, Tioga,Broome and Delaware. Most impacted counties, based on recent results in Pennsylvaniaand on Marcellus and Utica test wells in Otsego County, are probably marginal, so
http://articles.philly.com/2011-06-29/business/29717422_1_test-wells-marcellus-shale- production-rates
3HVHF well applications should be treated as rank explorations both by the DEC and thelocal townships.
Figure 3 The “Marcellus” Oatka Creek and Union Springs Formations
Exploratory wells are demonstrably speculative in nature and typically drilled bytransient crews, not with local hires.
Permitting wildcat wells in environmentallysensitive areas would not only be poor environmental stewardship, it would be badgeology. This is a fundamental flaw with the dSGEIS’s one-size-fits-all approach to well permitting. Shown below is what the Marcellus formation’s more productive UnionSprings lens looks like. The shale is thickest in Bradford County. Areas outside the greenwould be classified as speculations, more often than not with negative impacts on localcommunities.
Fig. 4 Union Springs Formation Isopach In N. Pa. and S. NY.

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More hot air than gas in New York

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