William Zagorski, Range Resources Vice President of geology in Appalachia and the man known as “the father of the Marcellus Shale” is making some new predictions about the potential for natural gas in the Appalachian (eastern) region of the U.S.
Zagorski said two new shale formations – the Utica Shale deeper below the surface and the shallower Upper Devonian Shale – were “in the same ballpark” as the [production potential of the] Marcellus.*
Zagorski is not the only one looking beyond the Marcellus Shale:
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., a Houston company, disclosed to analysts last year that it had drilled a successful horizontal well through the Purcell Limestone in its Marcellus acreage in Susquehanna County north of Scranton. The Purcell Limestone is an intermediate stratum sandwiched between two layers of the Marcellus Shale.*
Cabot is thinking they may be able to run pairs of horizontal wells at different depths from the same bore hole. And all of the infrastructure being built for Marcellus Shale gas can also be used for shale gas from other layers.
A few months ago at a meeting in Binghamton, NY, James Ladlee from Penn State Cooperative Extension made the prediction that we are only at the beginning of the natural gas boom in the northeast, and it will last for the next 80-100 years. With shale gas being discovered in other layers, it’s easy to see why Mr. Ladlee and others are bullish on the prospects for natural gas in the Marcellus and beyond.
*Philadelphia Inquirer (May 23) – Firms find more gas beyond the Marcellus field