- Exposed Marcellus Shale
The Marcellus Formation…
is a geological shale formation that contains potentially large natural gas reserves, and its proximity to the high-demand markets such as Western PA make it an attractive target for energy development.
You’ve undoubtedly seen oil and gas drilling rigs in the more rural areas of PA in your travels – evidence of the race by energy companies to tap into the natural gas locked in the deep Marcellus Shale formation.
Only recently has the vertical and horizontal drilling and fracking technology advanced enough to allow these reserves to be successfully tapped. The rewards from a successful well are potentially very large so energy companies are willing to shell out large land bonuses and royalties for entering into an oil and gas lease.
Did you know that the Marcellus Shale band can be as shallow as outcrops that you can see at the northern end of the band in Central New York to depths of 8,900 ft. in PA?
It was probably formed by the compression of what was once seaweed and marine life and the formation appears to be about 384 million years old. Professors estimate that based on drilling results, the shale contains over 300 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas… enough to supply U.S. consumption for 14 years.
Please see my blog for a virtual look of just how oil and gas drilling and fracking works. Also you can view the video below for actual footage from a drilling site: