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Norse Energy RIP

Norse Energy RIP



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Published by northrup7610

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Published by: northrup7610 on Nov 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Out of the Fairway and into the Rough
The Short Unhappy Lives of Norse Energy and Gastem USA
 Where the Fairway 
Have Been . . .
The group of shale layers known as the Marcellus overlaps the Utica shale inseveral states, including parts of central New York. The area of overlap where thetwo shales are thickest and at the right depth, the gas industry has defined as the“fairway”, as shown below, which includes the southern half of Otsego County and to the west all of Chenango County – squarely in the middle of the purported“fairway”
Figure 1 The Utica and Marcellus “Fairways”
If wells are drilled in the right part of this overlap, they could potentially tap boththe Marcellus (upper) and Utica (lower) shale formations from the same well pad.
Such areas over both the Marcellus and Utica have been described by the gasindustry as a “double play” – which of course is a baseball term for a defensiveplay in which two runners are thrown out. Not as a “double” – meaning two baseson one hit. Calling it a “double play” – two outs - proved to be portentous forGastem USA who attempted test wells in Otsego County – striking out in threeattempts.
More Hot Air Than Gas In New York 
The Marcellus and Utica are generally shown in the press as monolithicformations – implying that if you drill a well in the area shown, you will hit gasand the gas will be productive. This is a fairly common and always misleadingmisrepresentation of horizontally fracked oil and gas fields in general.
TheMarcellus is simply the latest shale gas field to be touted as the Saudi Arabia of Gas.
 In fact, the productivity of all shale gas fields is much more problematic – being afunction of the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) of the shale, its depth, and itsthickness, as illustrated by an isopach map. In short, the “fairway” is almostcertainly not as large as the area generally shown - most of the area may in fact bein the “rough” where neither the Marcellus nor Utica is commercially viable. closer examination of the “fairway” would indicate that the Marcellus is unlikely to be productive much further north than Tioga or Broome counties on thePennsylvania border. But the Utica is iffy that far south, since the heat at itsconsiderable depth may have cooked off much of whatever gas it once contained.The Marcellus shale is comprised primarily of the Union Springs formation or“sequence” and the Oatka Creek formation. The Union Springs formation ishigher in TOC (carbon content), generally described as “black shale”. The Oatkais considered a “gray shale” with lower carbon content. The Union Springs isgenerally the target in NE Pa., where it is thickest near the town of Dimock. Asshown in Figure 2, it does not appear to extend very far into New York. Thehorizontal line in the middle of the map is the NY/Pa. state border. In most of Chenango County, it is less than 50 feet thick, and in Otsego County, it effectively disappears south of Cooperstown.
Figure 2 Union Springs Shale Isopach – Thickness in Feet
Prospecting for shale gas by leasing acreage and drilling test wells in order toprove the reserves, then flipping the leases to other companies to develop thosereserves is not uncommon for small oil and gas exploration companies – knownas “wildcatters”. This effectively is what Gastem USA and Norse Energy wereattempting to do in the elusive “fairway” of the Marcellus and Utica shale.
If theUnion Springs was the target, they were probably looking in the wrong place.The gross thickness of the “Marcellus Shale” - the combined thickness of theOatka Creek and Union Springs shale formations – extends far into New York, but the “Marcellus” is primarily made up of the Oatka Creek gray shale, shown aslight yellow in Figure 3. There is “Marcellus” shale in New York, but it is mostly of the less productive variety, as the Norwegians and Canadians have discovered.

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northrup7610 added this note
Norse Energy appears to have discovered where the "fariway" is not located in New York

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