Like oil, natural gas is a hydrocarbon that is developed over millions of years and under immense pressure. Many (but not all) of the companies actively developing the Marcellus Shale also have operations in other regions where they produce oil. So there is a good bit of synergy between the two industries.
Where they differ most, is in price and practical use. Oil is primarily used as a transportation fuel, with derivatives used in the petrochemical and manufacturing industries. Natural gas on the other hand is primarily utilized to generate electricity and as a feedstock in the chemical manufacturing process.
One area where these two resources are beginning to compete is in the transportation sector. More and more, we’re seeing fleet vehicles (buses, long-haul trucks, taxi cabs and alike) transition to natural gas because of the tremendous cost savings one can gain. A gallon of natural gas can be up to $2.00 cheaper per gallon of gasoline or diesel.