Industry Article: Servicing the Marcellus Shale

Drilling and completion technologies are key to increasing Marcellus gas shale activity

Servicing the Marcellus Shale
Publication: E&P
Publication Date: 07/01/2011

In most of the US shale plays, whether oil- or gas or liquids-rich, the application of the latest drilling and completion technology has been the enabler of successful E&P and the primary reason for increased activity. This is particularly true in gasprone shales during a low gas price environment. Horizontal drilling and geosteering technology has opened up regions to more successful drilling and production, creating the boom during the past few years in areas such as the Bakken, Niobrara, Eagle Ford, and Marcellus.

The Marcellus gas shale area covers about 95,000 sq miles in the Appalachian mountains of New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, although most of the activity is in Pennsylvania. Depth of the Marcellus reservoir ranges from about 4,000 to 8,500 ft and has a net thickness of between 50 and 200 ft. Original gas in place totals about 1,500 Tcf, with about 262 Tcf of economically recoverable gas. However, with the application of the latest existing technologies and those under development, this figure could increase significantly as operators continually seek the most economic solutions to turning the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of 3.6 Bcf into technically recoverable resources.

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