The Marcellus Shale| October 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 October)
Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 26
Total Rigs in Pennsylvania- 18
Total Rigs in United States- 296
Total U.S. Rigs down 65% YTD
Bakken Top Producers
Top Gas Producer- Cabot Oil & Corp.
Top Condensate Producer- Range Resources Appalachia LLC
Thanks to the gas heavy Marcellus basin, Pennsylvania proved to be a political battleground for both candidates leading up to the election. During the second presidential debate, Biden mentioned that he would work to transition away from the oil industry in the coming decades. This isn’t a new position coming from Biden as he does plan to end federal subsidies for fossil fuel companies, limit or outright ban the permits looking to operate on public or federal lands, and transitioning to renewables over three decades. Trump took this statement of, “transitioning away,” and ran. Hydraulic fracturing supports anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 jobs in the state, although low gas prices since 2018 have caused many companies to divest from the region. Even so, Trump took a day to blitz Pennsylvania with 3 rallies claiming that hydraulic fracturing would be gone leading to no jobs and no energy for Pennsylvanian families. Even though the state does operate in part of the Marcellus, a slim majority of Pennsylvania voters opposed hydraulic fracturing in an August poll, and almost half supported an outright ban. With 20 electoral votes, Pennsylvania became an important swing state as Biden had been slowly edging a lead leading up to the election. Official polling results show that 50% of the state’s votes went to Biden, with only 48.8% going to Trump. A very close battle indeed.
Gas Giant Leading the Charge
Pennsylvania will join six states committed to the development of safe carbon dioxide transport and storage. Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolfe, said that the state will join Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming in signing a memorandum of understanding to establish a regional carbon transport infrastructure plan by 2021. This plan will allow captured carbon to be transported, via pipeline or pressurized vessel, to a site where it can be stored safely. This process stands to make use of existing tech and practices that involve injecting carbon dioxide inside various rock formations, underground saline water formations, and oil and natural gas reservoirs that can’t be utilized for any number of reasons. Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources claims to have been considering this carbon capture and storage technology for 2 decades, so many are pleased that Pennsylvania will develop an action plan and policy recommendations related to carbon transport by October of 2021. The group will also identify barriers to the practice and develop strategies to remove them. The state coordination group will be facilitated by the Great Plains Institute and informed by ongoing work by the State Carbon Capture Work Group and the Regional Carbon Capture Deployment Initiative.
Top Gas Producers (2020 cum)
Top Condensate Producers (2020 cum)
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