Could Philly Burbs See Shale Drilling?! PA DCNR Launches Study

Last summer MDN told you about a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) “discovery” that there are more untapped shale plays in the northeast. One of those plays is the Newark Basin that underlies parts of New Jersey, Maryland, and yes, Pennsylvania (see the USGS report and map here: Maryland has Multiple Shale Basins?!). In particular, the South Newark Basin lies under parts of southeastern PA–Philadelphia and its suburbs. While no one believes there will ever be a drilling rig in Philadelphia, there is the possibility of drilling out in the burbs.

The PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has just “quietly” awarded a contract to Penn State University to study “what lies beneath” in Bucks and Montgomery counties. The contract began July 1 and won’t be completed until June 30, 2015–two full years. When done, we should have a good idea of whether or not there’s recoverable shale gas in the area. So, is this study a prelude to drilling one day?…

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