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Fortuna expanding gas exploration
|Flush with success from drilling into the Trenton-Black River rock formation, Fortuna Energy Co. in Big Flats is poised to explore natural gas deposits in Marcellus Shale in New York and Pennsylvania.|
The formation lies 300 to 6,000 feet underground and covers about 54,000 square miles, running from the Southern Tier of New York across Pennsylvania into Ohio and West Virginia. Researchers estimate the shale may contain enough natural gas to match the entire U.S. demand for two years.
The company is already targeting the Marcellus Shale formations in northern Pennsylvania and has plans to drill six pilot wells in Bradford County, Pa., later this year. Four pilot wells into the same formation also have been drilled in Tioga County, N.Y., the company's president James O'Driscoll said Monday during an editorial board meeting at the Elmira Star-Gazette.
More drilling will be scheduled for New York once Gov. David Paterson signs legislation that expands how many acres that drilling through the shale will require. For Trenton-Black River exploration, the wells are spaced about 640 acres apart and the drill bore is vertical. Because Marcellus Shale wells are drilled horizontally, the new law would allow horizontal drilling in several different directions over a 640-acre area, all from a single drill pad.
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