Head of the Class: Marcellus Poised to be Top U.S. Natural Gas-Producing Formation

Under the headline “Marcellus will be the nation’s No. 1 producer,” the Associated Press reports this over the weekend:

The Marcellus Shale is about to become the most productive natural gas field in the United States, according to new data from energy industry analysts and the federal government. Though serious drilling began only five years ago, the sheer volume of Marcellus production suggests that in some ways there’s no going back, even as New York debates whether to allow drilling in its portion of the shale, which also lies under large parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

Similarly, the Post-Gazette reports this today:

Development in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale accounted for one-fifth of the nation’s natural gas reserve increase in 2010, and the new numbers on how much gas is trapped in the formation lead one industry group to predict the Marcellus soon will be the new leader in domestic shale plays.

Without question, the Marcellus Shale – and more broadly, the safe, responsible development of clean-burning domestic natural gas – is Building a Stronger, More Secure America. Here’s what else they’re saying:

  • SPURRING LOCAL JOB CREATION, ECONOMIC GROWTH.They’re bringing so much business in, it’s unreal,” said Kudlak, 51, a retired Moundsville police chief. … “That’s what gives us that long-term future. Because of that processing, our jobs are going to stay here,” said Tom Gray, business manager of Wheeling-based Laborers Local 1149, which added about 300 members in less than 15 months. “It’s incredible for us.” … “In some areas it’s been a fantastic job-creator for local construction workers and contractors. In fact, it’s been a godsend in a down economy,” Steven White, director of the Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation. (Tribune-Review, 8/4/12)
  • BOLSTERING U.S. ENERGY SECURITY. Former Defense sec. and western Pa. native William Perry: “Shale gas is truly a game changer. It is a huge resource in the United States. Some have called us the Saudi Arabia of gas with more than a century of supply. The technology is mature. It was developed in the United States more than 10 years ago, and its success has already greatly exceeded anyone’s expectations. It’s already at scale—it went from 10% to 20% of the total U.S. [electricity] production in a 10-year period, and we have gone from an importer of natural gas to an exporter. Most interestingly it has been demonstrated to be cost effective.” (Stanford Business School, 7/16/12)
  • INCREASING QUALITY OF LIFE, UNION JOBS. In recent months, the Marcellus Shale boom has saved the region’s construction industry, a Charleston construction company owner said last week. “Thank God for that,” said John Strickland, president of Maynard C. Smith Construction, referring to the natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale formation. “It has put our pipeline contractors to work, our road building contractors to work. That huge private sector has saved our cookies.” …  Mike Clowser, executive director of the Contractors Association of West Virginia, said quite a few of the new construction jobs are in the Marcellus Shale industry, especially in the Mountain State. “A lot of our members are working in the Marcellus Shale industry…,” Clowser said. … Clowser said there is a direct correlation between the continuing decline in construction jobs and the economy. “That is a direct result of the economy and if we do not have new investments in construction projects, obviously we are not going to use many construction workers for the work,” Clowser said. “We’ve seen other industries have a recession but the construction industry nationwide has been in a depression. When you invest in infrastructure, not only are you improving the quality of life for all West Virginians, you’re creating hundreds of high paying construction jobs.” (Charleston Gazette, 8/4/12)
  • ‘MARCELLUS MULTIPLIER’ SUPPLY CHAIN, LEVERAGING CNG. About 80 percent of business at Cleveland Brothers, which rents heavy equipment, now is related to the Marcellus shale industry, according to Geof Blair, the company’s local branch manager. … Westmoreland County commissioners and the county transit authority are exploring retrofitting a newly built bus-maintenance facility in Hempfield to handle natural-gas vehicles. [U.S. Sen. Pat] Toomey said that is the type of project that will bolster the local economy. “We ought to be looking toward encouraging compressed natural-gas refueling centers,” Toomey said. (Tribune-Review, 8/7/12)

Be sure to visit MarcellusOnMainStreet.org to learn more about pursuing local Marcellus-related business opportunities.