The Great Chenango County 'Gas Rush'

By: Bob McNitt

The Great Chenango County 'Gas Rush'

California had its gold rush, Colorado its silver rush, and Texas and Oklahoma their oil rush. Now it's New York's turn, via the natural gas rush. And, according to all I've read, the atmosphere surrounding all these past events created similar craziness. Fiction and rumors far outweighed facts, and only a pittance of the people that were involved financially benefited from them. In other words, it's the same old same old with our local gas rush.

Geologists have known for decades about the untapped gas reserves in the Trenton/Black River section of the Finger Lakes, first tapped in 1982, and now the massive Marcellus black shale deposits that encompass much of western and central New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. But until several years ago, it was not fiscally or physically effective for gas companies to drill and tap into the source, which may require drilling to 5,000 feet or more vertically. Once the technology allowed effective discovery and recovery of the gas, the rush was on.

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