The Marcellus Shale lies under the Appalachian Basin, and spreads across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. The shale play is one of the largest in terms of geographic area, and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates the formation's total area to be around 95,000 square miles, ranging in depth from 4,000 to 8,000 feet. The Marcellus Shale is rich in natural gas resources and is estimated to be the second largest natural gas find in the world. The 400-million-year-old rock contains approximately 410 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and could supply U.S. consumers' energy needs for hundreds of years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Technological advances such as horizontal drilling paired with hydraulic fracturing have allowed energy companies to unlock the energy resources from the Marcellus Shale, while protecting drinking water sources and the environment.
Supporting Pennsylvania Communities
While some areas in the Marcellus Shale are currently in development, recent studies show increased access could create thousands of jobs and help stimulate the economy. A study by Timothy J. Considine shows increased access in the Marcellus Shale formation could create 280,000 jobs and produce over $6 billion in government revenue. A similar study by the Manhattan Institute found that each well drilled generates about $4 million in economic opportunities from shale gas development activity. Energy companies working in the Marcellus Shale, a Pennsylvania fracking area, operate in strict compliance with the rules and regulations set out by federal, state and local agencies in every step of the planning, drilling and completion process.