NETL Research Discovers Microbes May Make Marcellus Gas Renewable

NETL researcher Yael Tucker uses a special bio-reactor to study microbes from shale samples – click for larger version

Dr. Yael Tucker, a research scientist working for the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) at West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV), continues to make important discoveries that have the potential to increase Marcellus Shale production. Her work involves tiny microbes. Dr. Tucker’s work “shakes the general assumption” that methane gas from the Marcellus is all thermogenic–or the result of decomposing dinosaurs put under extreme heat and pressure over long periods. At least some methane in the Marcellus, according to Tucker, is biogenic–the result of tiny LIVING microbes doing their thing. In other words, natural gas may be renewable! Who knew?! Tucker’s research has huge implications: “…there may be a faster recovery time than expected for the renewal of gas reserves” in Marcellus reservoirs. Contrary to the “leave it in the ground” dunces who say once the gas is gone it’s gone, now we know we can take it out and at least some of it will magically reappear again. Renewable. Sustainable. Shale gas…

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