Responsible Drilling Alliance

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Marcellus Shale Production To Increase Despite Fracking Protests

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 9 October 2012  – Natural gas production from one the of the US’s fastest growing plays, the Marcellus Shale, will climb ever higher in the face of widespread environmental and safety concerns, predicts industry analysts GlobalData in their new report.

The company’s latest research* says that gross production from the play exploded from 80.2 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe) in 2009 to 1,072.3bcfe in 2011, and is set to reach 4,861bcfe in 2015 before finally stabilizing in 2020 at a massive 7,685.1bcfe.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, is a process that has sparked controversy across the world, due to potential risks including ground water contamination and the compromise of air quality, and was the focus of 2010 Oscar nominated documentary, Gasland.

The Marcellus Shale runs through New York and Pennsylvania, amongst other states, and while numerous wells have been drilled across the latter, opposition from the public and some political figures in New York led to the initiation of a drilling moratorium in November 2010 – a freeze on fracking that currently remains in place.

Drilling activity in the Marcellus Shale mainly takes place in Pennsylvania, and as of March 9, 2012, the total number of drilling permits issued in this area stood at 11,772, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Chesapeake is the number one company in the Pennsylvania section of the shale, producing 193 bcfe last year alone. Talisman Energy USA Inc. came second with 155 bcfe, while Cabot Oil & Gas Corp and Range Resources Appalachia LLC were third and fourth, with 138 bcfe and 115 bcfe, respectively.

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