Norse puts land rights up for sale

NORWICH – First Norse Energy Inc. fell off projections for drilling 30 wells this year, then it canceled it sandstone drilling program in August, and now Chenango County’s only natural gas developer is selling its land leases.

The Norwegian energy company made this more drastic move late last week. Public Relations Director Scott Ives said the company “is shifting strategies to be prepared for shale development in New York, which we anticipate within the next six months to a year.”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to start issuing permits for hydrofracking some time next year.

Ives said the company plans to sell only a portion of its assets to help meet debt obligations, but he did not state a dollar figure, who might be interested in purchasing the leases nor identify specific regions. Much of the company’s holdings are in southern Madison County and northern Chenango County.

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