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Marcellus Shale. By: Chris Kemple, Tim Fisher, Steve Reinauer, and Rose Morgans. Location. Q: Dr. Halsor’s presentation suggested that shale gas is geographically best developed in certain locations based on geology. 1-What are the reserves of shale gas worldwide? In the US? In Pennsylvania?

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marcellus shale

Marcellus Shale

By: Chris Kemple, Tim Fisher, Steve Reinauer, and Rose Morgans

  • Q: Dr. Halsor’s presentation suggested that shale gas is geographically best developed in certain locations based on geology.
  • 1-What are the reserves of shale gas worldwide? In the US? In Pennsylvania?
  • 2-Approximately how much of the shale gas has been tapped at the moment?
  • 3-Are some reservoirs too difficult to get to?
  • Natural gas shale can be found in Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.
  • Beach Petroleum Limited (company) is planning to drill in the Cooper Basin in South Australia
  • A Multitude of companies are drilling in Canada’s populated cities of British Colombia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
  • Marcellus Shale plays are widespread in China; No companies or development yet, but US is working closely with China to develop technology there. There is much opportunity due to geographical terrain and land available.
  • ExxonMobil has 750, 000 acres of leasehold in Germany and developing wells in the Mako Trough in Hungary.
  • ConocoPhillips (company) is exploring Marcellus shale development assets in Poland
  • Shell Gas Company is investigating Marcellus shale assets in Sweden
  • In the U.K., Eurenergy Resource Corporation is making preparations for drilling in basins near Great Britain.
  • India has potential, but a complication with its government issued leasing of land for petroleum only is making drilling opportunities for shale gas virtually impossible at the moment.
  • Overall, gas plays of Marcellus shale can be found in basins, the oceans and in small amounts practically anywhere else.
  • In Pennsylvania specifically, solid amounts of shale gas aren’t immediately known, as research is wrapping up regarding that full amount. Full estimates will be completed by early 2010.
  • So far, PA has leased over 74,000 acres of state forest to Marcellus shale drilling companies.
  • Whitmar Exploration Company, a large drilling company with huge amounts of land leasing, is planning to start drilling in Luzerne County by 2010.
  • In 2005 there were about 15,000 wells in the US, and 4,185 alone were completed in 2007.
  • The US has only been producing a small fraction of total Marcellus shale gas potential.
  • 6% of all natural gas in the US comes from shale gas plays (Barnett Oil Field) in Texas
  • Total Natural Gas resources in North America exceeded 2,300 trillion cubic feet; 500 trillion cubic feet of this amount is recoverable from Shale gas plays. In the lower part of the US alone the shale gas amount is estimated at 385 trillion cubic feet.
  • In 2007, the US Department of Energy stated that the US uses 1.4 trillion cubic feet of shale gas per year. They also made a rough estimate that there is enough Natural gas overall for 90 years. An additional 26 years can be added to that number due to Marcellus Shale drilling alone. In their last statement, the Department of Energy noted that a rate of 3 to 4 trillion cubic feet would be sustainable for decades.
  • In the US so far, 19.3 trillion cubic feet has been tapped so far.
  • Marcellus shales contain radon gas, Uranium and Uranium-238, which are radioactive. Marcellus shales also contain enormous amounts of Carbon, which might make these shales combustible.
  • Some gas plays lie in deep basins out in the ocean, or in mountainous terrain, making it harder to get manpower and equipment out to those areas.
  • Lastly, when some shales are cut and exposed to the surface for mining, acid rain can cause decomposition of that exposed shale. This leads to toxic runoff from elements within the shale, and corrosion as a whole; this is a nightmare for any roads or industrial structures near the exposed shale as landslide/cave-ins become an unprepared for hazard.
  • Chemicals are added to the water to facilitate the underground fracturing process that releases natural gas.
  • The resulting volume of contaminated water is generally kept in above-ground ponds to await removal by tanker or injected back into the earth.
social political
  • Higher natural gas prices in recent years and advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal completions have made shale gas wells more profitable.
  • Shale gas tends to cost more to produce than gas from conventional wells, because of the expense of massive hydraulic fracturing treatments required to produce shale gas, and of horizontal drilling. However, this is often offset by the low risk of shale gas wells.
social political1
  • North America has been the leader in developing and producing shale gas because of high gas prices in that market. The great economic success of the Barnett Shale play in Texas in particular has spurred the search for other sources of shale gas across the United States and Canada.
laws and regulations
Laws and Regulations
  • Natural Gas Act
    • In 1938, the federal government became involved directly in the regulation of interstate natural gas with the passage of the Natural Gas Act (NGA).
    • This act constitutes the first real involvement of the federal government in the rates charged by interstate gas transmission companies.
laws and regulations1
Laws and Regulations
  • The Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978
    • Creating a single national natural gas market
    • Equalizing supply with demand
    • Allowing market forces to establish the wellhead price of natural gas
    • This act attempted to accomplish these goals by statutorily setting 'maximum lawful prices' for the wellhead sale of natural gas and by linking interstate gas markets.
laws and regulations2
Laws and Regulations
  • The Natural Gas Wellhead Decontrol Act of 1989
    • The NGWDA stated that first sales of natural gas were to be free of any federal price regulations.