ProPublica recently compiled a list of the top 10 natural gas drillers in the U.S. based on daily natural gas production volume. The list includes gas drilled by both “traditional” vertical drilling as well as “non-traditional” horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Or think of it as non-shale gas and shale gas—companies who drill for both are in the list. The Marcellus Shale represents a good portion of the gas now being produced in the country, but other shale formations, like the more mature Barnett Shale (in Texas) also contribute a substantial volume of natural gas.
MDN presents this list as a useful resource for landowners. The biggest drillers are not always the best, and not always the right choice for a given landowner and situation. However, knowing who the “bigs” are can be a helpful guide—you know they have the money and the technology to get the gas out of the ground, and they have money to pay for leases and royalties.
It didn’t take long for those who oppose Marcellus Shale gas drilling to try and link the recent earthquake centered near Mineral, VA on August 23 to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in the Marcellus. Blogs and internet forums said the 5.8 magnitude quake was a result of Marcellus drilling activity, but scientists have flatly stated there is no connection to be made: Marcellus drilling activity is not the cause of the quake. But is there ever a connection between shale gas drilling and earthquakes? The surprising answer is, maybe. But likely not what you think it is.
Franklin & Marshall College (Lancaster, PA) conducted a statewide poll of 525 Pennsylvania residents in late August. Among the questions asked were a series of questions about Marcellus Shale drilling. The vast majority of Pennsylvanians support gas drilling in the state (66%). A slight majority believes the economic benefits of drilling outweigh the potential environmental impacts, and most think that opening more state forest land for drilling should not be done. The full questions and responses are listed below.