The pace and extent of Marcellus Shale development across Pennsylvania can be "seen" in animated maps produced by the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research. Based on data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the animations (http://www.marcellus.psu.edu/resources/maps.php) show both the number of drilling permits issued for the Marcellus Shale target, and the number of wells drilled by year from 2007 through August 2010. Although permits were issued prior to 2007, information on those permits did not include latitude and longitude.
animations give people a chance to see how the pace of Marcellus development
has accelerated," says Tom Murphy, co-director of the Marcellus Center
and extension educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension. "When you
look at these animations, you are able to trace where development is occurring
and get a sense of the rate at which it is occurring."
animations also allow comparison between the number of permits issued and the
actual number of wells drilled.
animations show that interest in the Marcellus has skyrocketed with just 99
drilling permits issued in 2007 compared to 2,108 in the first eight months of
2010. A similar surge in the numbers of wells drilled also is evident. In 2010,
through August 31, 950 wells had been drilled in the Marcellus Shale, while in
all of 2007, only 43 wells were drilled.
expect that the uptick in Marcellus well drilling activity will continue, given
the high production rates being seen in the wells and the relatively low cost
to develop this gas resource," says Michael Arthur, co-director of Penn State's
Marcellus Center and professor of geosciences.
"Even with the low natural gas commodity pricing, drilling in the
Marcellus can still be profitable for efficient companies."
updates its permit and well reports weekly at
A separate spreadsheet identifies Marcellus permits and whether they are for
horizontal or vertical wells.
Marcellus Shale occurs as deep as 9,000 feet below ground surface and covers
about 95,000 square miles over six states, including Pennsylvania. Its organic carbon-rich, gas-producing
layers range from less than 5 feet thick to more than 250 feet thick. Estimates
are that the Marcellus has enough recoverable natural gas to supply the entire United States
for at least 20 years at the current rate of consumption.
Animations Show Extent of Marcellus Shale Development
November 29, 2010