"Since roughly mid-2006, Garrett and Allegany Counties have been receiving considerable interest by energy companies as a possible source of natural gas from a geologic formation known as the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus Shale has long been known as an organic-rich shale in the Appalachians, occurring at the surface and in the subsurface from New York to eastern Tennessee. However, the Marcellus had never been a target for gas exploration because it was not economical for the companies involved.That is about to change, as drilling techniques developed in the past ten years are being used in the Marcellus in Pennsylvania (and to a lesser extent in West Virginia) and will soon be used in New York and Maryland. The techniques involve (1) hydraulic fracturing the shale by pumping water into the shale under pressure to create vertical fractures in the shale layer, while at the same time introducing sand into the rock to keep the fractures open once the water is removed; and (2) drilling ho"
"Shale gas plays in the United States are commercial failures and shareholders in public exploration and production (E&P) companies are the losers. This conclusion falls out of a detailed evaluation of shale-dominated company financial statements and individual well decline curve analyses. Operators have maintained the illusion of success through production and reserve growth subsidized by debt with a corresponding destruction of shareholder equity. Many believe that the high initial rates and cumulative production of shale plays prove their success. What they miss is that production decline rates are so high that, without continuous drilling, overall production would plummet. There is no doubt that the shale gas resource is very large. The concern is that much of it is non-commercial even at price levels that are considerably higher than they are today. "
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