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What is the Marcellus Shale?

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Marcellus Shale:  On Pace - 2nd biggest US gas shale - One of the top Natural Gas Shale plays in the World.  The Marcellus Shale formation is located in Pennsylvania (PA ), New York ( NY ), Ohio (OH ) and West Virginia ( WV ).  This land is very popular because of its tight, deep shale formations which have the potential to hold a lot of natural gas.  The Marcellus Shale is large and covers a widespread amount of land area in the northeastern United States.  Researchers say that there is a potential for the Marcellus Shale formation ( Marcellus Fairway ) to hold around 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in its shale deposits deep beneath the earths surface.  The Marcellus Shale has created a ton of Jobs and is contributing in a major way to the states involved and their economies.   There are a few problems However:  The Marcellus shale play extends just under 600 miles with most of the natural gas field located in Pennsylvania.  A lot of the PA area is rugged with mountainous terrain.  This leaves potential problems in recovering a large amount of the Marcellus Shale reserves.  While 500 trillion cubic feet won't be recovered, most likely only 50 TCF can be recovered.  This still makes it larger then the potential of the Barnett Shale and a little less potential of the Haynesville Shale.  Recovering gas from the Marcellus Shale will not be easy.  Pipelines will have to be layed which could take a long time in certain areas.  Getting workers, equipment, and actually drilling the wells in the Marcellus fairway will take time. Again, their are many jobs available.  Please note:  The Marcellus Shale is also referred to as the Pennsylvania Shale, Ohio Shale, West Virginia Shale, and New York Shale.


Drilling a Marcellus Well

How is natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale?  Drilling companies have been showing up fast in the past few years in droves.  These companies have been acquiring mineral rights contracts all over Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and New York in order to explore potential drilling areas.  So how do these companies drill a marcellus well?  Shale operators start by first drilling what is known as a vertical well.  This well is drilled straight down into the ground.  Once they get at a certain depth, they use a technique called horizontal drilling combined with multiple stages of fracturing techniques.  Horizontal drilling is the process of drilling across after you drill down.  Up to five times more natural gas is extracted using horizontal drilling. A typical vertical Marcellus Shale well can run a company 800,000 while a horizontal well will cost 3-5 million.  Horizontal wells usually take 30-45 days to complete.

As far as production in the Marcellus Shale goes, natural gas prices have been trading between $4-$5 over the past several months.  Like the Haynesville Shale, the Marcellus Shale will production has been down since the start of 2009.  At $4, drilling has taken huge decrease in this region.

Marcellus Shale Jobs - PA, NY, WV, OH
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