Are there some areas in PA of high enough ecological value that they should not be drilled in?

There are some areas that are not open to development of any kind because of their ecological value. Pennsylvania also has in place a host of laws and regulations to ensure that natural gas development can happen in approved areas while protecting our environment and native species. Federal laws, including the Endangered Species Act and […]

What is being done to track/monitor/regulate the various wells throughout the state?

Development of the Marcellus Shale is overseen by the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Office of Oil and Gas Management. In order to drill a well, an operator must first obtain a well permit as well as fulfill a financial incentive to ensure all essential operations are performed to maintain the safety and integrity […]

What are the job opportunities for residents of this region who are unable or unwilling to relocate?

While jobs in engineering, construction, and equipment operations are most plentiful, there are professional services and support positions being filled by firms located in southeastern Pennsylvania. Additionally, many of the jobs at the South Philadelphia and Delaware County refineries are directly tied to Marcellus development. For additional information on employment opportunities in the natural gas […]

Are there plans to add a permanent pipeline for the drilling companies’ water supplies to come into the area or will the locals in shale areas have to hear the rumbling of water trucks forever?

Yes, pipelines can be used to transport water to a well pad and some operators are moving in this direction when logistically possible. The responsible development of natural gas from shale formations involves both the use of fresh water and the return of water from underground formations. Water is often transported by pipeline for its […]

How will PA be affected after the drilling is complete?

One of the natural gas industries main objectives is to minimize our geological footprint and bring properties back to pre-drilling conditions once active operations are complete. In order to reduce our impact we rely on a restoration process that involves landscaping and contouring to previous specifications. Here is some information directly from our website: Why […]

Why is Propane so freakin expensive?

According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), propane prices are subject to a number of influences, some common to all petroleum products, and others unique to propane. Because propane is easily transported, it can serve many different markets, from fueling barbecue grills to producing petrochemicals. The price of propane in these markets is influenced by […]

Is there a research fund at the state that would use revenues coming in from the industry?

Marcellus Shale operators have paid more than $406 million over the past two years in impact fees, which are allocated to municipalities around the state as well as government organizations that conduct research into new regulations and systems, along with the effect of this growing industry on the Pennsylvania. The Department of Environmental Protection recently […]

When is the pipeline ready for operation?

The first step in pipeline construction is obtaining the appropriate permits and right of way (ROW) easements to construction the line. Upon completion, there are a number of tests conducted to ensure the structural integrity of the line before it goes into operation. These tests include x-raying the welds on the pipe to ensure mechanical […]

How much natural gas is being extracted from wells in my area?

Unfortunately we do not know which county you reside in, however the Pa. Department of Environment Protection has a great online resource where you can view production reports for wells in your area.

What is the economic impact of the development on SEPA?

While the Marcellus Shale formation does not extend beneath SEPA, that doesn’t mean those in the Philadelphia area aren’t benefiting. The most obvious impact is the utility rate savings that everyone, including those in the greater Philadelphia region, have received as a result of this development. Researchers recently found that in 2012, because of reduced […]

How long will Marcellus Shale be drilling?

The short answer to your question is at least a few decades, probably 30 years. As the second largest natural gas field in the world, at approximately 95,000 square miles and estimated to contain upwards of 410 trillion cubic feet of gas, this is an industry that will be around for quite some time. In […]

Is shale gas the same as the natural gas we have been getting from other stratel?

Yes, natural gas from shale formations – such as the Marcellus, Utica, and Upper Devonian – is essentially the same as natural gas that we have been producing from shallow formations for years. Now operators drill up to 8,000 feet underground, reaching the shale formation, before they begin the hydraulic fracturing process to stimulate trapped […]

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How do our energy prices compare to other states that do not have natural gas and how can we use low pricing to attract manufacturing?

Great question. Cheap natural gas certainly provides a competitive advantage to manufacturers, and the proximity to that gas provides yet another advantage – the closer you are to the resource, the less you have to pay in pipeline transportation costs. As for energy prices, that’s a bit trickier to answer. As you probably know, crude […]

What happens to the brine?

The vast majority, upwards of 90 percent of flow-back water (brine) is recycled and reused for future well completion activities. When the water returns to the surface, operators can either treat the water at the wellsite and store it for future use, or transport the water to a centralized water treatment facility where it can […]

How much do you pay in taxes–my husband and I pay taxes on our small pensions. Just curious to know how much your corporation pays?

The natural gas industry pays the same taxes as every other industry/business operating in the commonwealth. Since 2006, the natural gas industry is responsible for more than $1.8 billion in tax revenue, and over the past two years generated more than $400 million in impact fees. 

Is export, via ocean transport, a realistic possibility? What will it take to make that possible?

Yes. In fact, as of September 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy has approved four export facilities with 20 additional permits awaiting review and approval. For additional information on liquefied natural gas (LNG), visit the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas.

Between trucking, compression, extraction, infrastructure repair and construction, etc., isn’t natural gas just as environmentally hazardous/unsustainable as other fossil fuels.

All energy sources, and all industrial activity, carry a level of risk. And when you think about it, every activity in life, carries some risk. The key to responsible energy development, like any other, is to effectively manage that risk. With stringent environmental (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Stream Act, Act 13 etc.) […]

Are price dynamics for Marcellus different from gas from non-shale sources (early production rate fall-off) and will price be more or less stable?

Natural gas prices — like virtually every commodity — will ebb and flow over time. It is quite clear, though, that our abundant and growing resource base will help keep energy prices affordable for American consumers and businesses for decades to come. In fact, President Obama said this during his 2013 State of the Union […]

Where and how is the fracking solution disposed of?

According to the most recent data gathered by the Pa. DEP, Marcellus Shale producers are recycling and reusing more than 90 percent of the water that returns to the surface. The remaining water is disposed of in EPA-approved and permitted underground injection wells. MSC member companies have pioneered large-scale water recycling technologies over the past […]

What are the different types of natural gas?

There are two basic types of natural gas. The characteristics that separate wet from dry are technically dependent on the “thermal maturity” of the rock formation. This is how Penn State University describes the difference between the two: Natural gas is known as being dry or wet, with dry gas being more thermally mature and […]

Why does the natural gas industry continuously refuse to disclose the constituent chemicals in the fracturing liquid? As well as obfuscate any attempt at passing regulation in order to require such practices?

The natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is required to disclose – on a well-by-well basis – the chemical additives used in fracturing fluids. Additionally, additives represent less than 1% of the hydraulic fracturing fluid – the other 99+ percent is sand and water. As far as the chemicals used in the process, the Marcellus Shale […]

How is water actually withdrawn from a stream?

With a hose, water is pumped out of an approved stream at a designated withdrawal point and then either transported by truck or conveyed through a water pipeline to a well location. Water withdrawal for natural gas drilling is one of Pennsylvania’s tightly regulated processes. Depending in which part of the Marcellus Shale play the […]

Is the industry aware that some groups seem pleased with their behavior so far? An attendee asked “What’s the issue”?

As a matter of fact, yes, we frequently hear from individuals, businesses and various stakeholders groups from all corners of the Commonwealth that support safe, job-creating natural gas development. Protecting and enhancing our environment, creating good local jobs and lowering energy costs for consumers is widely supported. This support bears out in public opinion polling […]

What independent studies to date have been performed on the effects of fracking on nearby drinking water?

As you may know, a host of objective, fact-based studies have been conducted focused on groundwater and hydraulic fracturing. Universally, the results continue to clearly demonstrate that fracturing does not impact groundwater. Recently, in fact, as the Associated Press reports, “A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from […]

Which would be more economically responsible, finding more fossil fuels or a new alternative?

Access to affordable, reliable forms of energy are key to a strong, growing and prosperous economy. From manufacturing to transportation to providing a reliable and efficient means to power our homes and businesses, natural gas is a key and growingly important component of our domestic energy portfolio. Wind and solar also play a critical role, […]

Is there a central sourcing point for the industry?

In Pennsylvania, the best source of Marcellus Shale gas is in the western and north-central/northeastern portions of the state due to the depth, thickness and total organic content of the resource in those areas.

Haven’t scientists been developing natural gas all along?

Natural gas development was pioneered in the United States. In fact, “In 1821, William Hart dug the first successful natural gas well in the U.S. in Fredonia, New York.” And today — thanks to the persistence and entrepreneurial spirit of George Mitchell and others — “We produce more natural gas than any country on Earth,” […]

Is it true that Act 13 provides for money that can be used for conservation to go to the municipalities?

Absolutely. And just recently, the Pa. Public Utility Commission (PUC) allocated $202.4 million – which is in addition to $1.8 billion paid in natural gas-related taxes and last year’s impact fees of more than $200 million – to various programs, including conservation efforts. Impact fee revenues – generated by the safe, job-creating shale development – […]

How many wells are there currently? How much water used at each well? Where is the water from? How many trucks operate at each well? What chemicals are in the slurry? Where does the polluted toxic slurry go?

There have been roughly 8,000 Marcellus wells drilled in Pennsylvania, though since that number is always growing, we encourage you to consult updated Pa. Department of Environmental Protection records, which include the number of wells drilled in each county and by each operator; the amount of natural gas produced by each well; the number of […]

What is the role of the SRBC in overseeing/permitting withdrawals on a water-shed wide basin?

As you may know, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) regulates water withdrawals and consumptive water use in the river basin, for all industrial, including natural gas use. SRBC provides a great overview of its role in natural gas development. Click here to view that online. And while natural gas development continues at a steady […]

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How can I get a job in the Marcellus Shale industry?

While there are a number of online resources for employment opportunities in the natural gas industry, we would direct you to the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Job Portal, which links to the employment sections of our 300+ member companies websites.

Why are plant leaves turning brown?

That’s a great question. The Pennsylvania Tourism Office provides a great deal of timely information regarding the Commonwealth’s unique, regional fall leave patterns. Click HERE for more information. Likewise, the Pennsylvania Department Of Conservation and Natural Resources, which notes that “Pennsylvania has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than any other state in […]

600 plus chemicals being pumped into the ground affect the ground water, what clean up can be done to fix that?

Despite claims, hydraulic fracturing fluids are made up of approximately 99.5 percent of the fluid is water and sand. The other 0.5 percent of the fracturing fluid is composed of (in most cases) 3 to 12 additives – not 600 – that serve a unique purpose. This from FracFocus, a national hydraulic fracturing fluids disclosure […]

Will you do another session which will be electronic?

While we continue to engage with a broad spectrum stakeholders through various outlets – community meetings, forums, events as well as social media – at this point we are still exploring options specific to future online Learn About Shale sessions. That said, we would encourage you – and others – to submit questions at any […]

What happens to the land after fracking is completed in a specific area?

Natural gas producers aim to leave behind a small footprint for each well pad through the restoration process. Restoration involves landscaping and contouring the property as closely as possible to pre-drilling conditions. Property owners generally see a small wellhead on a level concrete pad, a small amount of equipment, two to three water storage tanks […]

How come you don’t hire local residents in the areas where you drill? I’ve seen the places you drill and they’re usually poor economic areas. It would help the local economy.

In line with our Guiding Principles, the MSC works to attract and retain a talented local workforce: the development of clean-burning, reliable, and abundant natural gas resources that will improve our energy security and national security for generations to come. Indeed, safe shale development is providing new opportunities for family-sustaining employment in a variety of […]

Why can’t safe additives be found to add to the water used to fracture rock for shale gas removal?

On average, hydraulic fracturing fluids are made up of more than 99.5% of water and sand, with an additional .49% of commonly used additives. These additives, of course, are highly diluted and all fluids and hydrocarbons are isolated within the wellbore, following strict regulations, to ensure groundwater resources are protected. As you may know, MSC […]

Is the industry open to addressing unintended consequences when they occur?

Absolutely, and we do. Our industry takes the protection of our environment and surroundings seriously. After all, the men and women who work to develop the Marcellus Shale are the same men and women who live and raise their families in these communities. Pennsylvania’s extensive regulatory system holds companies liable to remediate any violations; pay […]

Should the industry be allowed to withdraw water from streams having an “exceptional value” designation?

Water withdrawal for natural gas drilling is one of Pennsylvania’s tightly regulated processes. Depending in which part of the Marcellus Shale play the hydraulic fracturing operations are happening, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection require operators to seek approval before withdrawing or using any amount of water for unconventional […]

How does the MSC support the secondary businesses in this?

Our Marcellus on Main Street initiative connects the industry with local vendors, suppliers and services throughout the Marcellus Shale play. The coalition’s associate members include a host of businesses that are serving the industry and benefiting from the rewards of natural gas exploration. We work to ensure all our members have resources to succeed and […]

Why aren’t land agents held to the same standard as real estate agents?

The natural gas industry is committed to being good neighbors and positively impacting our communities by best practices. The American Association of Professional Landmen offers recognized certifications to land agents based on competency, proficiency and professionalism.

What is the Halliburton Exemption?

The short answer is that it is a myth. The bipartisan 2005 energy bill does not contain an exemption or “loophole,” as some have called it, for hydraulic fracturing, as the practice was not regulated under federal law by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prior to 2005. In Pennsylvania, natural gas companies are required by […]

What happens to the water that gets polluted during the fracking process?

Natural gas development from the Marcellus Shale is water-intensive, yet there are a host of regulations, safeguards and practices in place to ensure that our region’s water resources are effectively managed and protected. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of the total water used in the hydraulic fracturing process returns to the surface as what is […]

What can the gas industry do to connect low prices of gas with what is happening in development?

Thanks to new technologies, natural gas companies are able to bring cheap, clean-burning American natural gas to consumers. Horizontal drilling coupled with hydraulic fracturing allows us to safely produce our abundant, domestic supplies of clean-burning natural gas, further strengthening our nation’s energy security. The more energy that is safely produced here at home is helping consumers […]

Are there opportunities for construction and construction management [from SEPA] given the distance?

The safe development of clean-burning natural gas from the Marcellus Shale continues to benefit literally every square inch of Pennsylvania. And while many natural gas companies have offices in the Marcellus “fairway,” where production activities occur, there are others along the growing supply chain that are based in southeastern Pennsylvania. The MSC also has a […]

What types of industries are well-suited for the [SEPA] region?

Given the geographic and geologic footprint of the Marcellus Shale, there will never be active development of this resource in southeastern Pennsylvania. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities in the region. There are many companies in the region—ranging from environmental, engineering and law firms to manufacturing facilities building drilling rigs—that are actively supporting Marcellus […]

What are the potential health benefits to the citizens of PA resulting from a decrease in the use of coal to generate electricity in the states to the West of PA?

Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel with real public health and environmental benefits for all Pennsylvanians and the nation. As natural gas continues to be safely produced at record numbers here in Pennsylvania and across the country, air quality has been improving at an impressive rate. The Wall Street Journal reported that according to the […]

Are there long-term plans to address the rehabilitation of exhausted well sites and loss of economy in ‘Gas Towns’, i.e., the collapse of ‘Coal Towns’ & ‘Steel Towns’?

The entire shale development process—from construction of the site, drilling, completions, production and site restoration (rehabilitation) is tightly regulated by the Pennsylvania DEP. Once a well has finished producing, the company must submit a well site restoration plan. One of the MSC’s Recommended Practices is devoted to Site Planning, Development and Restoration. Economic planning is […]