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My camp is located in the heart of the natural gas drilling.  Just kind of wondering peoples thoughts, experiences so far from the currrent drilling, good or bad.  

While I am pro-drilling, and may benefit finacially from this, just looking for additional experiences or insight from board members.

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  • DonS

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apachecadillac

In Texas and Louisiana, hunting and fishing have coexisted very amiably for generations with oil and gas production.  In you are seeking an unspoiled wilderness experience, obviously an oil field service road mars the landscape, but if you're hunting the edges, that road no different than a logging road or something like that.

I don't know where your camp is, how mobile it is, or how much control you have over drill site selection, but a properly drawn lease will protect the rights of the landowner and any other relevant surface rights.  Nobody in his right mind wants a drilling rig operating a hundred yards from his cabin.

Out here in the West, you hear lots of complaints about environmental degradation associated with oil and gas exploration.  I don't know if that's because BLM is less effective than the typical private landowner in enforcing the public's rights to an relatively undisturbed surface, if the e & p guys and the service companies are acting like rogue cowboys with aircover from a bunch of politicians raving about pointy headed environmentalists when they're not snivelling in the service of their corporate masters, or what.

Finally, and a little OT, I've caught a lot of trout over the years near little production platforms all over the shallow bays of the Texas Gulf Coast.  You are emphatically not supposed to tie off to them, but the oyster shell pads they have for footings are fish magnets.  And those are real trout, guys, that you catch and eat, not the funky little fresh water ones that you rent.

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Toxic contamination from gas wells

Hydrofracking is a seriously flawed way to obtain natural gas. There's a Canadian company called GasFrac that uses propane instead of water and toxic chemicals to fracture underground rock. Virtually all of the propane is recovered, as opposed to hydrofracking water which gets sent to municipal wastewater treatment plants that are not designed to deal with the toxic chemicals.

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I am pro drilling but given some of the info I have read coming out of your area I would test my well water.  Often.  Does water testing show if methane is bubbling up?
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traveller2926
Good Afternoon, I just talked with a Lobbyist about this topic.  I am all for this since I believe it is an economic boost for those regions needing revenues.  And, I am a member of hunting clubs with lots of mining, timber and gas wells and hunting continues.  My biggest concern is the financial costs of this new type of gas extraction.  Go from the total costs of the rigs, to the highway taxes for road upkeep in the less populated areas; and finally, landowner issues with this new vertical to then horizontal drilling method .  I understand because of this issue it will take large tracts to produce.  So, to conclude, I have lived in coal, timber and natural gas extractive economies my full life - and, as I said earlier, hunting will continue.  But after what I learned just this week, I will bet you a buck that you have lots of time before this really gets moving.    Just my two cents and my opinion.  So, it is just an opinion so take it easy on me...  Trav
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L. Gallagher

We are dealing with the same issues here, only here the reef is called Utica/Collingwood.

It started last year with the 12,000 ft. Pioneer well in Missaukee County, which when flared sent a flare so high and productive the glow could be seen for miles...which sent every gas company in the area into a frenzy to lease the mineral rights of the reef from both private and public landowners. The state of Michigan's public land lease auction last year was phenomenal, with a lease going for an average of $500 to $1500 an acre. The state earned $178 million in one day for mineral rights leases on public lands.

Then the bubble began to burst, with the flare on the Pioneer well dropping off, and instead of the huge amounts of natural gas they had been getting, they got a lot less. Two other wells, one in Cheboygan County 150 miles north of Pioneer and one in Kalkaska County, did the same late last summer and fall.

Last spring, landowners were getting promises of huge amounts of money per acre for leases made to Encana, Chesapeake, and Chevron...but by late last summer it became apparent that the energy companies weren't going to pay on a lot of these leases, as they broke most of them, saying things like they didn't want to lease property with a mortgage on it, etc., none of which had been issues with previous leases for exploration of shallower Antrim reef gas wells in the first Michigan natural gas boom in the 80's & 90's. Landowners ended up with empty promises, nothing more, and about three dozen took it to court, where it's now all in litigation.

Anyhow, the bubble appears to have completely burst now, with this spring's auction only garnering $770,000 for just as many leases as last year. A new well drilled this winter in Antrim County hasn't even been fracked or flared-there's still a temporary wellhead on it, and it appears to be abandoned.

I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Michigan has much tougher regulations regarding drilling than PA does, so we're not liable to have incidents like the Bradford County, PA accident a couple of weeks ago, but there is still a lot of concern and a lot of people against fracking.

We need the gas, we need the energy, but what has most concerned me is the size of the pads...and the fact that most of them here are on state lands used for recreational interests, like bird hunting...drive around here, and even without the deep well pads, the lands I do most of my bird hunting are looking increasingly like gas fields, with the still ongoing interest and drilling in the shallower Antrim reef that's going on. There's a pad every 40 acres and a processor every couple of miles, with millions of miles of flowlines just a couple of feet underground that are absolutely EVERYWHERE, including under rivers and lakes.

What happens to these flowlines when the gas runs out and the pipelines are abandoned? They won't pull them out, they just cap the well and walk away, leaving the potential for environmental issues if the pipelines ever crack and leak-they're just PVC pipe...with our winters, sooner or later they are going to crack and leak...what then?

And what if the deep natural gas interest DOES get going again? I can guarantee you that, based on the maps of the Utica/Collingwood reef up here, there will be even more of these pads (which are huge, three times the size of an Antrim pad)almost everywhere the reef exists...and what was once wild land for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, hiking, etc., will become one big gas field, sort of what the fields in Texas and Ok look like...that's what could happen.

Fracking, btw, is not a "new" practice in and of itself. It's been done safely for years here in Michigan on the shallower Antrim wells...or that's what we're told. What's new, they say, is the depths at which they're doing the fracking now...and the additional pressures everything is subjected to.

So, yes, I'm worried. This is not PA, where real risks exist regarding groundwater and other environmental concerns. PA really needs to upgrade their drilling laws. But there's a number of other risks involved with this type of drilling, and those also exist here in northern Michigan.

The gas will be long gone, but we may still be dealing with the after effects of the drilling...and we may be doing permanent, irreparable damage to the pristine environment that we're clinging to hang onto in northern Michigan.

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BIL's camp is in the midst of some hot deep gas exploration in NE PA. The normal exploration trucks and cuts (good) normal messy drilling rigs, but the producing wells I was shown were just like here in Texas, a small "christmas tree" valve on about a 1/2 acre plot of mowed grass with a road around it. Not much impact I can see except to the leaseholder's pocketbook.   :p

No gas in water, no abnormal explosions in the heads.

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L. Gallagher

The two pads I've seen for Utica/Collingwood in northern Michigan were about 5 acres each, with adjoining lands used to store equipment and build 12 foot wide roads to get the equipment in on. On the Antrim well, they not only widened the road to a bit more than 12 feet, they gravelled it to raise the level of the roadbed to support heavy equipment being hauled in and for good drainage...all 1 1/2 miles of it. That's a lot of money just in gravel...

The shallower well pads are about half an acre each, with roads about 10 feet wide, and no major rebuilding of the road once plowed in. The roads all inter-connect, if you don't have a good compass you'll get lost on the gas roads in minutes up here.

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We were paid handsomely for our ground 4.5 yrs ago.  We will be paid a bigger royalty in August.  This does not count if and when they ever put a pad on the property and the royaltiess involved.

The reson for my question, the area of NC PA where my camp is located, seems to be having a economic boom.  People working bars full, stores crowded...

So???  THere is ALOT of good, and worht it (IMO), even though there are potential issues!  BUT it is easy for me to say this, it is my camp not my permannet home.

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buckmaster
Its bad bad news...with some major differences from exploration in Texas.  We are not in the PA side...but just Northeast...the Delaware County/ Otsego NY side of the river....I pray that gas fracking is halted.  Strip mining may have been ugly...but fracking is ugly for the environment....my primary concern are the chemicals that are pumped in the fracking fluid...and the leftover chemical laiden water and occasionally oil that is a byproduct.  There have already been a number of spills....for grouse hunters...probably the impact is limited...however you are fracking in two of the most sensitive river basins and watersheds in the US....in PA you are fracking in the Susquehanna Watershed...in NY the Delaware and Susquehanna Watersheds....aside from some of the last pristine wild trout rivers and streams in the Northeast.....what happens when you poison the ground water....what happens when a spill contaminates the nearby watershed...the watershed which supplies drinking water for about 15 million people in the metro NYC area....natural gas is pretty cheap and plentiful domestically....do you really need to risk poisoning the water supply for the most densely populated area in the US?  What are the costs of a cleanup for a spill in this area that affects ground water or the NY watershed....probably about 20 to 30 years of gas production...poor risk reward.    My wife is from South Texas and we have a place there for fishing and duck hunting...see if you can find pictures of Luling....in the land of separate mineral and land rights...towns like that have active wells in peoples back yards next to the kids playground...its disturbing.  Most of the people up here have not lived with oil and gas exploration...its a dirty business...and what they have seen is the production phase years later after the land has started to heal superficially...they should have been there at the beginning.
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drummer's stump
If anybody has any questions, just go drive around Bradford and Tioga counties. Ya know the old saying "you can never go home again", well for me its the truth. I was home for the youth turkey season, and it almost made me sick, besides the physical damage to the land. The changes to my home town are almost to much to handle, I have never been a fan of Texas, but when I walk into a dinner to get breakfast with my family and have to listen to #$#$ing oil workers, that was the line in the sand for me.
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ANF grousin

Why doesnt anyone mention this spill

Sewage spill

At an emergency meeting Tuesday night, the sewer board voted in favor of an agreement with ZMK Construction of Syracuse, not to exceed $75,000, to clean up the gravel-like treatment material that has spilled into Fuller Hollow Creek and the nearby parking lot.

Wonder if shale wells can decide how much money they want to spend to clean up a spill?

Its amazing all the whining coming from Jersey, yet they have no problems sending all their trash out of state for someone else to take care of.  I'll gladly take the problems with gas wells in return for stopping the trash trucks from crossing the border.

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Fracking is a blight on the land. Why can't these companies release their "secret formulas"?
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It has already been posted but I'll say it again, Chesapeake fined over a million dollars. They are one of the better actors. Go see the movie Gasland. It tells the truth. Also enjoy your roads while ou can still drive on them. Our experiences in Arkansas have been pretty lousy in the Fayetteville Shale.

Just my opinion, so don't think it is gospel!

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