Marcellus Basin

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Marcellus Basin

Area: New York & Pennsylvania

The Marcellus Basin is located throughout the eastern U.S., with a large portion of Marcellus Shale found near Marcellus, New York. The play is 104,000 square miles and reaches into western New York, eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The Marcellus Basin is the largest natural gas source in the United States and is the leading producer of both natural gas and shale gas. The play’s natural gas is trapped between two layers of limestone, which increases mining difficulty and requires hydraulic fracturing techniques to access the reserves.

The natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Basin were first discovered by the U.S. Department of Energy during the Eastern Gas Shales Project, which was operated from 1976-1992. Though they were aware of the resources, producers had to wait until 2004 for the right techniques and technology to access the natural gas. Since then, production has increased to 14 billion cubic feet of natural gas and around 50,000 barrels of oil mined every day. In 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that the Marcellus Basin still contains 141 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. In 2015, the same administration announced that the play contains 148.7 trillion cubic feet of proved natural gas reserves. These large amounts of natural gas production have consistently lowered gas prices throughout the mid-Atlantic states, providing significant economic benefits to the surrounding areas.

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