Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Good Article on Marcellus Shale

I know my focus is the Haynesville Shale, but I read with interest a recent article in the Ft. Worth Business Press about the Marcellus Shale and how it compares to their hometown Barnett Shale. Perhaps the greatest advantage of the Marcellus Shale is its location close to the big gas consumers of the Northeast U.S.

The Marcellus was made public in January 2008, just a couple of months before the Haynesville "went public" and it has generated a great deal of excitement. Because it is so large and is not an area with a great deal of production infrastructure, it will take more time to develop than fields in Louisiana and Texas. But Chesapeake Energy, which declares the Haynesville Shale to be the largest gas deposit in North America, says that the Marcellus will eclipse the it in 2020.

With all the concern about increasing gas supply and depressed prices, having an enormous gas field even closer to a large proportion of North America's end users might be a concern for those with a vested interest in the Haynesville Shale. Personally, I'm an optimist and a long-term thinker (at least I try to be). I subscribe to the "rising tide floats all boats" theory and believe that the strength of the Marcellus combined with the gas shales of Haynesville, Barnett, Fayetteville, Horn River, etc. will conclusively prove that natural gas is a viable alternative to oil and coal as a fuel. Ultimately, I think our energy survival depends on a "portfolio approach" where we use all manner of fuels for our energy needs, but I believe natural gas can be the backbone to this portfolio.

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