Gas drillers wrangle over NY limitations, bans

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Associated Press

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Updated Saturday, May 12 at 1:02 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Natural gas companies say about half of their lease holdings in the lucrative Marcellus Shale region in New York state will be off-limits or inaccessible thanks to all the restrictions in proposed state regulations and local bans.

A coalition of environmental groups is pushing for a ban on shale gas drilling, but the industry and landowners hoping to lease to drillers are working to lift some restrictions and halt the movement toward local bans.

The Marcellus is a gas-rich shale deposit thousands of feet underground in parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.

It's impossible to say how much gas would be off-limits to production under bans and restrictions in New York because the amount of gas that can be extracted won't be known until wells are drilled.

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