“Father of Marcellus Shale” Terry Engelder Retiring from Penn State

Penn State University professor Terry Engelder, the geologist who first discovered the potential of the Marcellus (and called “the Father of the Marcellus Shale”) is retiring from Penn State in June. The Marcellus Shale boom, while starting with a single Range Resources well in 2004, is largely due to the insights of Engelder. In 2007 he did some “back of the envelope” calculations that showed (first) there is roughly 50 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable natural gas in the Marcellus. He later revised that number, to 489 Tcf. It was Engelder’s calculations that caught the interest and confidence of drillers who then decided to give the Marcellus a try. The rest is history–and we have Dr. Engelder to thank. Penn State News does a good job in providing a tribute to celebrate the contributions of Engelder to the university’s geosciences department. What will Engelder miss the most when he retires? Finding new shale layers? Figuring out new techniques to extract oil and gas? Maybe a better way of predicting earthquakes? Nope. He’ll miss the people–students and the professors/staff at “one of the finest geosciences departments in the world.” Here’s a proper sendoff for a key figure, a giant in the canon of the Marcellus story…

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