Natural gas exploration continues in full force

SMYRNA – A natural gas exploration and development company conducted more seismic testing along county Routes 14 and 22 and Quaker Hill Road in the Town of Smyrna last weekend, and an area in the Town of Preston near county Rt. 18 was scheduled for some tests Tuesday.

Supervisor James Bays, D-Smyrna, said crews from Nornew, a company with offices in the Eaton Center in Norwich, have been drilling day and night.

“They are drilling 24/7 right now. You can see the towers lit up like the state fair (at night),” he said, adding that an underground vibration from the explosions could be felt but were “nothing significant.”

“When they come to a home fairly close to the road, they do in fact turn their machine to a lower level. This confirms that they (Nornew) are sensitive to homeowners,” Bays said.

Large quantities of natural gas have been discovered in northern Chenango and Madison counties since Nornew and other natural gas exploration companies began operations in the region about a decade ago. There are approximately 40 wells in Madison County, currently, and the company has plans to drill another 8 to 10 in 2009, Bays said.

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