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dSGEIS economic/social section well build-out scenario

Here are some figures you may want to use as you comment on the
revised dSGEIS, testify at hearings, speak to your neighbors, etc.

The “average” (i.e. not low and not high) development scenario
explored in the socioeconomic section of the revised dSGEIS for Region
A (Broome, Chemung, & Tioga Counties) assumes that over the course of
30 years, 21,067 (18,923 horizontal wells and 2,144 vertical wells)
would be drilled in Region A.

This would mean that an average of 702 gas wells would be added to the
region each year, for 30 years. (In reality, some years would see
fewer wells than 702 added, some would see more.)

If 21,067 wells were drilled in Region A, the final well density would
be about 13 wells per square mile. That’s about one gas well for every
16 current residents of Region A. (References & calculations shown
below.)

On p. 4-6 of the socioeconomic section of the rdSGEIS, there is a
chart (Table 4-2) showing the major development scenario assumptions
for each representative region. Region A includes Broome, Tioga, and
Chemung Counties and is expected to be the most heavily drilled region
in the state. (See p. 4-5 of the rdSGEIS for discussion of drilling in
the various regions.)According to Table 4-2, in an “average” (i.e. not low and not high)
drilling scenario, over the course of 30 years, 21,067 (18,923
horizontal wells & 2,144 vertical wells) gas wells would be drilled in
Region A.I obtained the following figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. The
population figures are from the 2010 census; the land area figures are
from the 2000 census. (See http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36000.html)Broome County:  population  200,600;  area  706.82 square milesTioga County:  population 51,125; area 518.69 square miles

Chemung County: population 88,830; area 408.17 square miles

Adding those up, we have, for the three-county region:  population
340,555; area 1633.68 square miles

Using the above three-county population and land area figures and
assuming the “average” development level given in Table 4-2 as 21,067
wells, it turns out that in 30 years, the three-county area would have
about 12.9 gas wells per square mile. That’s one gas well for every
16.17 current residents of the region. Since some areas (e.g. urban
cores) probably would not be drilled, an even higher well density in
the drilled areas would be needed to reach the estimated
_____________________

The 81,000-well figure is in the same general ballpark as the “high”
development model in the rdSGEIS, which assumes 62,781 shale gas wells
statewide with 31,395 of those wells being in Region A (the counties
of Broome, Chemung, & Tioga). Chances seem fairly certain that Region
A will see a higher density of wells than most regions. The revised
rdSGEIS assumes that the Broome/Chemung/Tioga area will be the
location of about half the shale gas wells in the state, so if the
81,000-well figure is correct, perhaps our area will see something
like 40,000 wells (i.e. about twice the density I discussed in my
original post in this thread).While no one knows for certain how many wells there will be, it’s
important to communicate the ballpark figures to the public. I think
the number of wells being contemplated–whether it’s 20,000 wells in
the three-county area or 30,000 or 40,000–is almost certainly far
higher than what most people living in those counties are
envisioning.Large numbers are difficult to visualize, so I think it is critical to
state these numbers in ways that will allow us all to visualize the
impact. As I said above, using the DEC’s own “average” development
scenario, we would end up with a number of wells equivalent to having
about 13 wells per square mile in every single square mile of Broome,
Chemung, & Tioga Counties. Since there will almost certainly be some
parts of the three-county area that will not be drilled (e.g. urban
cores), the areas that are drilled would have to end up with a higher
density than 13 wells per square mile in order to reach the 21,067
well figure. Another way to say it is that there would be about one
gas well for every 16 current residents (men, women, & children) of
the three counties. Even with multiple wells clustered on each pad,
that is obviously an enormous level of industrialization, particularly
when one considers the access roads, pipelines, compressor stations,
truck traffic, noise, etc that will accompany the wells. (I am
wondering, as I type this, just how much more prone to flooding our
area will be when a lot of the trees have been cut to make way for
well pads, roads, and pipelines. That’s what we all need–more
flooding, right?)

The high profits being projected are based on drilling a huge number
of wells with an accompanying high degree of industrialization (i.e.
pipelines, access roads, compressors, etc). So when people hear how
much money there is to be made, they need to understand that in order
to get the money wells will have to be drilled at a tremendous rate.
Again, we’re talking, ballpark, 13 wells per square mile, one gas well
for every 16 residents. The wells would be constructed over 30 years,
with an average of 700 wells drilled each year in the Broome/Chemung/
Tioga area. That’s 700 new chances for industrial accidents, every
year, year after year, for 30 years, and if they hope to reach that
21,067-well number, they will not just be drilling in remote areas.

Remember: 13 wells per square mile, one well for every 16 residents–
and that’s the DEC’s “average” development scenario, NOT the high-
development scenario. How many people would want to live with that? We
need to get the word out–a lot of people probably have no idea what
these numbers are.

——————–

The 81,000-well figure is in the same general ballpark as the “high”
development model in the rdSGEIS, which assumes 62,781 shale gas wells
statewide with 31,395 of those wells being in Region A (the counties
of Broome, Chemung, & Tioga). Chances seem fairly certain that Region
A will see a higher density of wells than most regions. The revised
rdSGEIS assumes that the Broome/Chemung/Tioga area will be the
location of about half the shale gas wells in the state, so if the
81,000-well figure is correct, perhaps our area will see something
like 40,000 wells (i.e. about twice the density I discussed in my
original post in this thread).

While no one knows for certain how many wells there will be, it’s
important to communicate the ballpark figures to the public. I think
the number of wells being contemplated–whether it’s 20,000 wells in
the three-county area or 30,000 or 40,000–is almost certainly far
higher than what most people living in those counties are
envisioning.

Large numbers are difficult to visualize, so I think it is critical to
state these numbers in ways that will allow us all to visualize the
impact. As I said above, using the DEC’s own “average” development
scenario, we would end up with a number of wells equivalent to having
about 13 wells per square mile in every single square mile of Broome,
Chemung, & Tioga Counties. Since there will almost certainly be some
parts of the three-county area that will not be drilled (e.g. urban
cores), the areas that are drilled would have to end up with a higher
density than 13 wells per square mile in order to reach the 21,067
well figure. Another way to say it is that there would be about one
gas well for every 16 current residents (men, women, & children) of
the three counties. Even with multiple wells clustered on each pad,
that is obviously an enormous level of industrialization, particularly
when one considers the access roads, pipelines, compressor stations,
truck traffic, noise, etc that will accompany the wells. (I am
wondering, as I type this, just how much more prone to flooding our
area will be when a lot of the trees have been cut to make way for
well pads, roads, and pipelines. That’s what we all need–more
flooding, right?)

The high profits being projected are based on drilling a huge number
of wells with an accompanying high degree of industrialization (i.e.
pipelines, access roads, compressors, etc). So when people hear how
much money there is to be made, they need to understand that in order
to get the money wells will have to be drilled at a tremendous rate.
Again, we’re talking, ballpark, 13 wells per square mile, one gas well
for every 16 residents. The wells would be constructed over 30 years,
with an average of 700 wells drilled each year in the Broome/Chemung/
Tioga area. That’s 700 new chances for industrial accidents, every
year, year after year, for 30 years, and if they hope to reach that
21,067-well number, they will not just be drilling in remote areas.

Remember: 13 wells per square mile, one well for every 16 residents–
and that’s the DEC’s “average” development scenario, NOT the high-
development scenario. How many people would want to live with that? We
need to get the word out–a lot of people probably have no idea what
these numbers are.