Note from Gary [Editor]: My family owns a lot of land in Breathitt County, Ky., right in the middle of this formation in Eastern Ky. How this discovery plays out for us in the long run remains to be seen. It is however, an exciting time for our family.
Natural gas shocker: Appalachian basin could hold 750 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves
Natural gas is the cleanest-burning and most efficient of all the fossil fuels. Because of the age of the Appalachian Mountains, 480-600 million years old, a wealth of fossil fuels, i.e. coal, oil and natural gas was created by Mother Nature ripe for the picking by this country and probably enough to keep the US fuel-independent for a very long time, some are estimating at least 100 years.
Chart from Wikipedia
|Marcellus shale exposure above Marcellus, N.Y. The vertical joints create sheer cliff faces.|
|Unit of||Hamilton Group|
|Sub-units||See: Named members|
|Thickness||up to 900 feet (270 m)|
|Other||Slate, Limestone, Sandstone|
|Named for||Marcellus, New York|
|Named by||James Hall, 1839|
|Region||Appalachian Basin of
eastern North America
|Extent||600 miles (970 km)|
Geology.com has some amazing information at the link below on natural gas.
Marcellus Shale - Appalachian Basin Natural Gas Play...CLICK LINK >> http://geology.com/articles/marcellus-shale.shtml
The large scale, practical uses of natural gas were initially introduced by innovators Joseph Pew and George Westinghouse for the steel and glass industries in Pittsburgh, and local gas companies evolved from individual wells to an interstate supply network acquired by Rockefeller’s Standard Oil interests. Natural gas is now a prevalent part of American markets and is filling the critical void left by a lack of new coal, oil, and nuclear power facilities. This vital American enterprise began in the Appalachian states as an accidental and underestimated by-product of the oil rush of 1859.
This book explores the evolution and significance of the natural gas industry. Early chapters discuss the first natural gas discoveries in the 1800s, the ways in which entrepreneurs used the fuel, the consequent displacement of the manufactured gas industry, and the expansion of the Appalachian natural gas network—largely initiated by Standard Oil interests—into major regional markets. Later chapters discuss the growth of the Appalachian drilling industry, the first wooden and metal pipelines, the development of gas compressor engines, the pioneering of gas storage fields, and the genesis of gas marketing for lighting, heating, cooking, and industrial use. The concluding chapter describes the growth of the Appalachian natural gas industry since its major source of supply shifted from local wells in the 1950s to new discoveries of natural gas in the southwestern United States and the Gulf of Mexico. The conclusion also describes the impact of gas shortages and the government regulation that affects the industry to the present day.
About the Author
David A. Waples is a corporate communications manager for a natural gas utility. He also teaches speech communications at a northwestern Pennsylvania college. He lives in Fairview, Pennsylvania
Natural Gas Industry in Appalachia: A History from the First Discovery to the Maturity of the Industry [Hardcover]
Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Gas Rush
Fracing a Natural Gas Well