Norse wants to be 1st in line for NY gas permits

MARY ESCH Associated Press Published:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- While New York finishes a 4-year shale-gas drilling study that has driven most energy companies to other states, a Norwegian company hopes to be first in line if New York starts issuing permits.

Dozens of permit applications for wells in New York's part of the lucrative Marcellus Shale were filed in 2008 and 2009 with the Department of Environmental Conservation.

But then the DEC said no permits would be issued until it completes its environmental review of the hydraulic fracturing process. Companies stopped applying.

The only exception is Norse Energy, which has submitted seven applications since November.

The Marcellus is estimated to contain 84 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says fracking will be allowed if the DEC finds it can be done safely.