Chamber to study gas drilling effects on local economy

NORWICH – Chenango County’s economic development chief said she plans to discuss the potential impact of natural gas discovery on the local economy with officials from Nornew next week.

Chenango Industrial Development Agency Executive Director and Commerce Chenango President Maureen Carpenter told members of the IDA Wednesday that she hoped to determine “whether there are any opportunities or possibilities to extend natural gas lines to businesses ... to reduce their costs, possibly even allowing them to go off of NYSEG (New York State Electric & Gas).” NYSEG is the area’s most prominent provider of natural gas.

Nornew is a leading Appalachian Basin independent natural gas exploration and development company that has been actively purchasing and leasing residential and vacant land for exploration and drilling purposes. The company’s parent, Norse Energy, which is headquartered in Norway, owns 165,000 acres of property that its website claims is within “prime Marcellus” shale under Chenango County.

Nornew has a local office at the Eaton Center in Norwich. It is one of several companies offering contracts to landowners throughout the region. New technology has recently made drilling into the long-known large reserve of natural gas within the Marcellus strata more profitable.

Natural gas exploration and drilling have been ongoing in the towns of Otselic, Smyrna and Preston for about five years. Many wells are producing, however none so far are within the Marcellus.

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