Marcellus Shale Gas Formation
The Marcellus Shale gas formation is one of the largest shale regions in the United States – it’s estimated to be the second largest natural gas find in the world. The Marcellus shale stretches across New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland at a depth of 5,000 to 8,000 feet. Until recently, this formation has been deemed too expensive to access, however recent advances in hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania and horizontal drilling technology have opened up new areas of exploration.
Pennsylvania Hydraulic Fracturing and Natural Gas Development
Since 1859, more than 350,000 oil and natural gas wells have been drilled for Pennsylvania natural gas. PA fracking jobs pay on average $62,000, which is around $20,000 higher than the state average. According to a study by Natural Resources Economics, Inc. full development of the Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania could support 211,000 jobs.
Pennsylvania first began regulating natural gas drilling in 1956. Oil and gas exploration and drilling is regulated under all or part of the state oil and gas laws, the Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, the Water Resources Planning Act, and the Worker and Community Right to Know Act.
Natural gas producers have invested over $4 billion in Pennsylvania in lease and land acquisition, infrastructure development, community involvement and increase employment opportunities. In developing a community-friendly local industry, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has given the Pennsylvania fracking program high marks.