State Eases Natural Gas Drilling Rules

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Just before the end of session in Albany, the legislature passed a bill to make it easier for energy companies to drill for natural gas.

WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more.

No one knows for sure how much gas is buried in the shale deep beneath New York. But high prices have have spurred a frenzy of exploration in the some parts of the state.

Now the legislature has responded, by simplifying the permitting process. The change prepares the state to deal with a new generation of wells which can extract gas from as deep as seven thousand feet below the earth's surface.

The technique known as horizontal drilling has shown promise at getting gas from hard-to-reach places like the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from Ohio to the Catskills.

By one estimate, the Marcellus may hold as much as a five year supply of natural gas.

For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.