How Thick is the Marcellus? USGS Report Sheds (a Little) Light

Normally the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) will push out a press release when they release a new study. However, for a recently published report titled “Characterization of the Marcellus Shale based on computer-assisted correlation of wireline logs in Virginia and West Virginia” (full copy embedded below) there was no such press announcement. We noticed the report when it popped up in one of our news gather filters. As you might expect, this new report is heaving on wonky science. It’s weakness (depending on your viewpoint) is that the data they’ve analyzed comes from just 9 wells in Virginia and West Virginia. The purpose of the report is to test some theories on why the Marcellus is thicker in some places than in others.

This report will be of interest to geologists and E&P companies. For the average person? Probably not so much. However, there is a map on page 8 we like and think you will too. That map shows the Marcellus region with the authors’ best guess as to the thickness of the Marcellus layer in various areas throughout the northeast. Remember, usually the thicker the better (the more natgas there is likely to be locked away in the shale)…

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