doubled, to 1,280 acres, or two square miles. IOGA pushed for such a doubling in aSeptember 11, 2011 letter to the DEC :
“Because New York law limits the size of spacing units for shale wells up to
640 acres, it will be the practice of industry to layout back-to-back units witha common well pad for both units thereby draining areas up to 1280 acres
(two square miles).”
The drillers subsequently persuaded State Senator Mark Grisanti to attempt toincrease the spacing unit for one well up
to 2 square miles
Perversely, such large well spacings on horizontal wells exacerbate the abuse of compulsory integration to coerce non-consenting landowners into participating inwells.
New York’s compulsory integration law was
for all intents and purposeswritten by
Tom West, as evidenced by his correspondencewith DEC staff attorney Allison Crocker in 2005, pages 58
Consequently, as amended by West and Crocker, New York now has the worst compulsory integration law in the United States, as practiced by the DEC.
, in league with West
as Anschutz’s lawyer, is one of the few state
agencies that has compelled a homeowner into participating in a gas well.
If theWest/DEC compulsory integration law is applied to horizontal wells, it will betantamount to private eminent domain
at Chesapeake’s behes
t, since horizontallaterals only drain th
e area they’re under, not adjacent property.
Invokingcompulsory integration is unprecedented elsewhere, but is not beyond the brief for
Chesapeake’s stenographers at the DEC.
Mercifully, the courts are less impressed with Mr. West, as a close reading of the
Not only were they not persuaded, it’s not clear that
they believed a word he said on home rule. In contrast, his collaborators at the DEC
bought Chesapeake’s line
on the matter in whole cloth, even though home ruleapplies to gas wells in both Oklahoma and New York.
As the DEC goes through the motions of reviewing non-industry comments on theproposed SGEIS, they have sent out their final drafts to the gas industry, in order to