The Marcellus Shale| June 2020
The Marcellus Shale is the largest gas play onshore in the US. Located in the Northeast, it supplies the high demand markets along the East Coast. Most of the basin’s gas is produced through unconventional methods, while the little oil produced is mostly by conventional means. Some of the top formations include Onondaga and the Huntersville.
State Drilling Statistics (End of June)
Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 27
Total Rigs in Pennsylvania- 22
Total Rigs in United States- 284
Total U.S. Rigs down 73% YTD
State Top Producers
Top Gas Producer- April Data Currently Unavailable
Financial & Economic Updates
Cabot to Face Fines and Criminal Charges for Pollution
The Susquehanna County township is the only place in Pennsylvania where state regulators have shut down new Marcellus Shale drilling until leaking wells are remediated and methane gas contamination in the aquifer subsides. The moratorium on drilling in the 9-square-mile box has lasted for a decade. The contamination in the region has been the subject of investigations by state and federal environmental and health agencies, civil lawsuits, the documentary “Gasland,” several books and advocacy by celebrities. Pennsylvania’s Office of Attorney General is charging Cabot with seven counts of prohibition against discharge of industrial wastes, seven counts of prohibition against other pollutions and one count of unlawful conduct under the Clean Streams Law. “The grand jury presentments prove that Cabot took shortcuts that broke the law and damaged our environment — harming our water supply and public health,” Mr. Shapiro said. “They put their bottom line ahead of the health and safety of Pennsylvanians.”
Gas Balance Equation
The Marcellus shale is stuck in a strange limbo of supply and demand. Currently, the gas market in the region is oversupplied and even more so now thanks to COVID-19. These days it is not uncommon to see a truck delivering the LNG to markets that demand this commodity. A great solution to mitigate the overuse of trucks would be a pipeline, but unfortunately for those in the business, many setbacks have occurred at the end of June that will likely make pipeline construction in the US very difficult. These setbacks range from environmental/indigenous protest to revocation of past permits that are said to have been ill designated. If the Appalachian region can develop a way to transfer this gas long distances (ideally through a pipeline) it will be in a much better and more competitive position in the future.
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