senate Bill S7167

Natural gas development habitat fragmentation protection

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 01 / May / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 05 / Jun / 2012
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE

Summary

Expands acreage relating to the natural gas development habitat fragmentation protection.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S7167
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง23-0501, En Con L

Votes

5
5
5
Aye
5
Nay
4
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Environmental Conservation committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7167

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the natural
gas development habitat fragmentation protection

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
Increases the size of spacing units
with respect to horizontal drilling for natural gas in shale plays.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 provides that this act shall be known as the "natural gas
development habitat fragmentation protection act of 2012."

Section 2 amends section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law
by doubling the size of spacing units from 640 acres to 1280 acres.

Section 3 provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Many conservation organizations have expressed concerns
about the level of potential development that will be required to
support natural gas production using high-volume hydraulic
fracturing. This bill will significantly reduce surface impacts and
habitat fragmentation while allowing more efficient recovery of
natural gas within a target geologic formation.

Chapter 386 of the Laws of 2005 amended the Oil and Gas Law, which in
turn was amended by Chapter 376 of the Laws of 2008. Together, those
Chapters established the current statewide spacing provisions for oil
and gas wells.
More specifically, Chapter 376 of the Laws of 2008 amended Title 5 of
the Oil and Gas Law to expand the definition of statewide spacing to
address, among other things, horizontal wells in shale gas pools. At
that time, statewide spacing for multi-well horizontal units in shale
gas plays was established to be up to 640 acres.

Since Chapter 376 of the Laws of 2008 was enacted into law,
technological advances in horizontal drilling have allowed operators
to drill longer horizontal wellbores that extend beyond the current
statewide spacing of 640 acres. Longer horizontal wellbores can drain
up to twice the surface area (up to 1,280 acres) as allowed under
current law (up to 640 acres).

Doubling the size of spacing units would remedy many of the issues
raised by conservation organizations' analysis of potential habitat
impacts, including those outlined in The Nature Conservancy's 2011
report "An Assessment of the Potential Impacts of High Volume
Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) on Forest Resources." It would result in
fewer wellbores drilled and reduce the number of well pads, access

roads and pipelines. Surface impacts would be reduced
by up to 50%. This will help promote contiguous habitats and mitigate
potential impacts on forest, grassland and sensitive habitat areas.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to New York State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7167

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 1, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation

AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation  to  the
  natural gas development habitat fragmentation protection

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
the  "natural  gas  development  habitat fragmentation protection act of
2012".
  S 2. Clause (vi) of subparagraph (1) of paragraph b of  subdivision  1
of  section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law, as amended by
chapter 376 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:
  (vi) For shale gas pools at any depth, for a horizontal  well  outside
any  existing  spacing  unit  for  the same formation and with a written
commitment from the well operator to  drill  infill  wells  pursuant  to
subdivision  4  of  section  23-0503  of this title, with all horizontal
infill wells in the unit to be drilled from a  common  well  pad  within
three  years  of the date the first well in the unit commences drilling,
notwithstanding the ten percent tolerance  specified  in  this  subpara-
graph,  up  to [640] 1,280 acres with the initial horizontal wellbore or
wellbores within the target  formation  approximately  centered  in  the
spacing  unit and no wellbore in the target formation less than 330 feet
from any unit boundary;
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.




 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15161-01-2

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