Welcome to The Shale Play Page! If you are looking to find information on the energy boom that has hit our area, you've come to the right place! This is the spot to learn basic info about all things shale including land leasing, drilling, fracking and how it all affects our valley. Check back weekly for updates and new information!
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Marcellus Formation (Marcellus Shale) is a unit of marine sedimentary rock found in eastern North America. Named for a distinctive outcrop near the village of Marcellus, New York in the United States, it extends throughout much of the Appalachian Basin. The shale contains largely untapped natural gas reserves, and its proximity to the high-demand markets along the East Coast of the U.S. makes it an attractive target for energy development.
The Utica Shale is a rock unit located a few thousand feet below the Marcellus Shale. It also has the potential to become an enormous natural gas resource. The Utica Shale is thicker than the Marcellus, it is more geographically extensive and it has already proven its ability to support commercial production.
The process of bringing a well to completion is generally short-lived, taking a few months for a single well, after which the well can be in production for 20 to 40 years. The process for a single horizontal well typically includes four to eight weeks to prepare the site for drilling, four or five weeks of rig work, including casing and cementing and moving all associated auxiliary equipment off the well site before fracking operations commence, and two to five days for the entire multi-stage fracturing operation.*
Watch this video, it’s pretty neat and helps explain the hydraulic fracturing process from start to finish.
To create productive natural gas wells, companies force fluid thousands of feet below the surface at high pressure to crack shale rock and release trapped natural gas. This extraction technique is called hydraulic fracturing. The fluid used in the process is made up almost entirely of water and sand. However, it also includes a very small percentage of chemical additives that help make the process work.*
Here is a visual interpretation of what makes up fracturing fluids.
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*information gathered from http://www.energyfromshale.org and other various sources.