Exploration & Processing - Winter 2011 - (Page 10)

MARCELLUS SHALE BY STANLEY WEINER T NATURAL GAS IN THE MARCELLUS SHALE COULD PUT A HUGE DENT IN DOMESTIC ENERGY NEEDS – ONCE IT CAN BE EXTRACTED CLEANLY AND EFFICIENTLY. A NATURAL SOLUTION he Marcellus Shale, a vast rock formation spanning the five states of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland, estimated to contain natural gas that could be worth $1 trillion, may be the least talked about answer to America’s energy issue. It is not only the potential size of this gigantic gas lode that will make a big difference in the U.S. energy supply, but also the Marcellus Shale’s location, within spitting distance of arguably the most avaricious gas consumers in the nation: New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and the whole Northeastern region. One reason for the lack of front-page attention to this enormous development is the slow recognition, even by the experts, of the immensity of Marcellus Shale gas resources. As recently as 2002, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) severely underestimated the amount of gas the region could produce. While its Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Appalachian Basin Province published that year reported that Marcellus Shale contained an estimated undiscovered resource of about 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas, no one considered the deposit a game-changer because the gas reserves were spread over such a large physical region. It seemed likely that the cost of extracting the gas might exceed the value. It wasn’t until January 2008, when the Marcellus Shale potential became really interesting to gas explorers. Professor of Geosciences Terry Engelder of Penn State University and Professor of Geosciences Gary Lash at State University College, Fredonia, N.Y., published a paper contradicting the USGS lowball estimate and predicting that the Marcellus could produce 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Then, another important development sparked rising interest in tapping the Marcellus Shale: the introduction of a different drilling technology that had been proving its worth for almost a decade in Texas’s Barnett Shale. There, for the first time, horizontal drilling was used in a gas shale formation, instead of vertical drilling, to tap and collect the gas distributed in the shale. Productivity increased dramatically. As John Harper, chief of the mineral resources division of the Pennsylvania Geological Survey, was reported to have said in the Scranton (Pa.) Times in September, Marcellus wells that produced gas in the last fiscal year averaged almost 2 million cubic feet per day - “a lot better” than the earliest dozen or so Marcellus wells in the state that produced an average of only 89,000 cubic feet per day. Thus, the Marcellus Shale has the potential to be the largest and most productive natural gas field in the United States. According to Engelder, who is considered the leading authority on the Marcellus Shale, natural gas production from the Pennsylvania Marcellus will likeWINTER 2011 10 | EXPLORATION-PROCESSING.COM http://www.EXPLORATION-PROCESSING.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Exploration & Processing - Winter 2011

Exploration & Processing - Winter 2011
Redefining Refining
Synfuels Success
A Natural Solution
After the Fallout
Uranium on the Rise
Galleon Energy Inc.
Gibraltar Mines Ltd.
The Municipal Group of Companies
Selwyn Resources Ltd.
Redmond Minerals Inc.
Copper Fox Metals
Henry Resources
OFM Pump Inc.
Sunshine Oilsands Ltd.
Pacific Rubiales Energy Co.
Thermo Design Engineering
Alexco Resource Corp.
North American Palladium
Mammoet Canada Eastern Ltd.
KSM Inc.
Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Ltd.
Flexpipe Systems
Guyana Goldfields Inc.
Flotek Industries Inc.
Dominion Terminal Associates
Compressor and Engine Service LLC
BEHR Energy Services Ltd.
LoneStar Energy Fabrication
American Oil & Gas – The Goliath Project
Alberta Oilsands Inc.
Southern Petroleum Laboratories Inc.
Cochrane Technologies Inc.
Crystal Flash Energy
Energold Drilling Corp.
Esperanza Resources Corp.
Explorator Resources Inc.
Rush Sales Co.
Kimber Resources Inc.
Nelson Bros. Oilfield (1997) Services Ltd.
Gulf Copper and Manufacturing
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Exploration & Processing - Winter 2011