Study Points To $15.3 Billion For Broome County From Marcellus

By: Melissa deCordova

BINGHAMTON – Neighboring Broome County, all by itself, holds enough natural gas reserves to leverage the creation of 16,000 good-paying jobs, $793 million in wages, and $15.3 billion in total economic output according to a study released Wednesday.

The report, compiled by researchers from the University of North Texas, who had previously studied the Barnett Shale, comes on the heels of a Penn State study also released this week which found that for every Marcellus Shale well developed in the Pennsylvania, $6.2 million in economic impact could be realized.

The figure may be even higher in the state of New York, with gross revenues exceeding $9.3 million per well. No such study has been compiled for Chenango County, but both individuals landowners and coalitions stand poised for leasing once the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation completes its permitting protocols for shale.

Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala, who commissioned the study, said it had been difficult to quantify the impacts of what the area could experience from developing its economic resources.

“With this study, we believe strongly that if balanced with the proper attention to environmental protections, the development of the Marcellus Shale can provide a tremendous and much needed economic boost to our local economy,” she said.

The Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Region is fast becoming the hottest natural gas drilling play in the nation. Some experts believe production from the Marcellus could eventually outstrip that of the Barnett Shale in north central Texas, currently the largest producer of natural gas in the country. The Marcellus formation is 65 million acres in size compared to the Barnett’s 3 million acres.

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Energy In Depth Policy Director Lee Fuller issued the following statement: “Natural gas helped transform the economic landscape of New York in the 19th century, and as this report makes plain, natural gas from the Marcellus Shale is poised to transform the state’s economy once again in the 21st century. At the center of all this excitement stands a critical energy technology known as hydraulic fracturing. With it, opportunities for new jobs, new revenues, and greater security abound. Without it, those opportunities will be lost. It’s our hope that regulators and legislators in New York do their homework on this critical technology, and put forth a plan that allows it to be safely deployed for the benefit of their constituents.”

Energy In Depth is a project of small, independent oil and natural gas producers who, according to the organization’s website, are committed to strengthening the U.S. through “the safe, responsible and environmentally-friendly development of domestic energy resources.”

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