The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Good News for Marcellus Shale

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 5, 2011

The Marcellus Shale, a 400 million-year-old rock formation that contains large amounts of natural gas available through a process called hydraulic fracturing, is living up to its potential. Two unexpected discoveries in northeastern Pennsylvania last week demonstrated shale gas formations don't just hold promise, they deliver. shale_play.jpg

Meanwhile, according to news reports, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is backing a new study that says the state can safely permit "fracking" without endangering groundwater. This is consistent with findings by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ground Water Protection Council that there's no direct link between hydraulic fracturing operations and groundwater impacts. Recall that President Obama said he believes fracking will play a key role in our country's "clean energy future" during his 2011 State of the Union address.

Fracking technology, which has been used in the United States since the 1940's, continues to develop and improve rapidly. Through the use of horizontal drilling wells and water pressure we see the development of the Marcellus shale play that underlies much of New York and Pennsylvania, and parts of Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia.

The benefits of fracking are dynamic, generating royalty payments to property owners, increasing tax revenues to the government and creating much-needed American jobs.

Indeed, the shale formation has a lot to give and has the continued potential to help steer America's energy policy for years to come.

For more on the Marcellus Shale formation, and the economic benefits to Pennsylvania alone, read this recent post: Fracking = Pennsylvania Jobs.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.