A new assessment from the US Geological Survey finds that the Marcellus Shale contains about 84-trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, but recoverable, natural gas. That’s a 4,100% increase over 2002 figures. “We’re learning much more about the Marcellus, geologically and scientifically,” says Marcellus Shale Coalition policy and communications director Steve Forde. “We’re learning it is much more valuable and more prolific than anybody had imagined a decade ago.”
These numbers come on the heels of new state Department of Environmental information that indicates Marcellus Shale natural gas production has increased by 60% in just the past 6-months. Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber says the gains aren’t just due to an increased number of wells, but more efficient drilling techniques as well.
The coalition believes these reports affirm the sustainability of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. Speaking in Wilkes-Barre, Wednesday, Lt. Governor Jim Cawley said the natural gas industry and related businesses generated more than 72,000 new hires in PA over the past 18-months. Cawley chaired the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, which issued 96-recommendations (including an impact fee) this summer. That report is expected to receive considerable legislative attention this fall.
Meanwhile, Governor Tom Corbett (R), former Governor Ed Rendell (D) and former Governor Tom Ridge (R) are all expected to speak at Shale Gas Insight 2011, an industry conference, next month in Philadelphia.