Friday, December 31, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Inflection Energy may already have horizontal wells in Owego, possibly already fracked

I have just learned learned that Inflection Energy already has drilled wells in Owego:

Check this:

I spoke to someone with inside information who said,
"Inflection Energy is an environmental disaster waiting to happen".

OK, look. I can't really say much more about this information,
but I believe it is from a reliable source.

We need concerned citizens now involved in the following activities:

1: Get copies of the permits for Pimpenella and Strong wells in Owego.

2: Are they drilling permits? Or completion permits?
The history on these wells may involve 2 prior owners.

3: What formations are they drilling in? Vertical only, or long laterals?

4: FOIL for any safety information or accidents occurring at these wells.

5: Are there any wells in Owego, focus on these two, which have been
permitted to be hydrofracked?


Andy Leahy said...


The NYS DEC wells database here:

shows Inflection to be the currently listed operator of four wells in Tioga County, NY. They either drilled them or bought them already-drilled from somebody else. All have Oriskany sandstone as the objective formation, and all are vertical wells.

This horizon has been prospected for in New York since at least the 1930s. It's very old school. Whether Inflection's wells were fracked or not, I do not know, but it would have been a fully permissible low-volume frack, the same as has been going on since fracking was invented in 1949.

Remember, there is no current freeze in New York on horizontal wells, per se, or shale gas wells, per se, or hydraulic fracturing, per se. Frozen is only the combination of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in a horizontally drilled well -- a situation which, practically speaking, is only going to be proposed for shale.

Bill Huston said...

Thanks Andy...

Well, I got this from someone who seemed like a reliable source.

Maybe I've been set up with false information?

Or maybe Inflection is up to business for which they have not been permitted?

Andy Leahy said...


I don't know what might make your buddy tick, but it looked to me as though the New York State Museum's ESOGIS database is not set up to display the key details of the objective rock formation (Oriskany, which is a sandstone), and the orientation of the drilling (vertical). So some amount of confusion is understandable -- and to be guarded against by publicists, such as yourself.

As for your full leap toward posting "may have's" and "possibly's" bearing negatively on Inflection's four wells -- to me, if you don't mind my saying so, all this appears to be very much related to two very unfortunate tendencies which seem to be building among anti-frack activists:

1) A belief that they somehow should get a free pass when it comes to any expectation that they diligently and objectively research and present bonafide factual information (apparently because their heart is presumably in the right place); and

2) An increasingly suspicious and cynical outlook regarding any source with an economic stake in natural gas, including pro-gas landowners, people who make a living in the business, and certainly oil and gas executives (but hardly ever, on the other hand, investors, or consumers).

I don't know what to say about this, except that I never think half-baked information is a good thing -- coming from either side.

Pro-drilling or anti-drilling, we all rely on this world -- both the environment, and the economy -- and I just don't think more rumors are ever going to make it a better place.

Better information -- yes.

But not better rumors.

Bill Huston said...

Thanks Andy. You have some good comments.

I'm sorry I can't say more about this data, except that
a) I believe it comes a reliable source,
b) this data indicts both Inflection, for violations of safety procedures, and
c) indicts the ability of the DEC inspectors to do their job, due to lack of expertise.

When you say "free pass". I am not seeking any pass from anyone. Whether I am issued, or denied such a pass, is irrelevant to me. I am not doing this work for the approval of others.

Although sometimes approval may be an indication that one's work is on the right track, and I must say, I get plenty of letters from people who appreciate my work.

I follow my muse, my instinct, my hunches. When information comes my way, I do my best to vet the information, do basic fact checking, and disemminate it. If you do not like the quality of my information, you are free to look elsewhere.

A citizen journalism should not be expected to operate the same as "professional journalism".

Sometimes when I post something it is my way of asking for help. Help me verify this information. Be on the watch for ---foo---. We just got a call about X happening over there.. can anyone check it out? Is this really frack-waste being dumped, or something else? etc.

When you suggest that citizen journalists have "an increasingly suspicious and cynical outlook regarding any source with an economic stake in natural gas", this does not seem like any fault to me.

Shouldn't any journalist be suspicious of information which comes from the people of power? Yet, if you look at how the commercial media operates today, we see a very cozy relationship here, with an over reliace of statements by government officials, and the financial connection between news funding and advertisors.

The other cozy relationship is between professional jouralism and public relations. In colleges today, they are taught side-by-side. Journalist are required to take PR classes, and vice versa. Jounalists leave that profession and go into public relations. The reverse is also true. The PR people working for the polluting industry issue press releases, which the downsized, underpaid, and overworked press people dutifully publish, often verbatum and without basic fact checking.

We can look at advertisements and say, "of course this information is biased. It's an ad!"
However, when we watch the news, we expect it to be "objective", yet, often don't realize how much of "the news" is really industry propaganda, though PR and the press-release.

The problem with power is that it tends to concentrate. It concentrates until it blows up. This is called "negative feedback" and it is a very destructive force.

Throughout history, we have seen this repeatedly. Exploitation of people and nature, followed by a time of apparent prosperity, followed by collapse.

IF our goal is to have a stable society, that a major goal in the design of our social systems should be to quickly locate accumulated power and diffuse it.

If you look at the history, journalism was considered the Fourth Estate. The People (Third Estate) were already outnumbered by the First Estate (clergy) and the Second Estate (nobility). The press had an important function to keep the other powers in check.

Thanks for this dialog!


Bill Huston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Leahy said...


Well, okay, I guess it's clearer to me now, where you're coming from -- which is not a place where I would care to gather my information.

One last thing, before I go. I just remembered this morning that G. Jeffrey Aaron of Gannett's Elmira Star-Gazette did a story over the summer outlining what little drilling was still going on in the Southern Tier, during the shale gas moratorium.

In additional to continued prospecting for gas in the Trenton-Black River, a limestone, Oriskany sandstone drilling was also covered. Somebody would have to double-check it, but I'm pretty sure that's where at least some of Inflection's Oriskany wells in Tioga County originated.

The story is still online here: