Geological

People — Terry Engelder, Penn State

Terry Engelder, a professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University who boldly calculated that the Marcellus Shale held 489 Tcf of technically recoverable natural gas before it was transformed into the country’s largest gas field, is retiring. While Range Resources Corp. drilled the first horizontal Marcellus well in 2004, Engelder’s calculation is credited with attracting the interests of some of the independent oil and gas producers that have pioneered the play. One of his first estimates was more than 25 times that of the U.S. Geological Survey’s at the time. He told the university that a question during a 2007 webinar about the amount of recoverable reserves in the Marcellus stumped him. Shortly after, he began crunching numbers. He said the calculation was “by far the highlight of my career.” Since then, Engelder has achieved world-renown, granting interviews to nearly 600 journalists worldwide and helping them better understand the geological aspects of the play and the characteristics of the industry that has developed it with high volume hydraulic fracturing.

May 1, 2017

Industry Brief

Pennsylvania State Universityresearchers who have been charged with monitoring 21 seismograph stations across the state are also reportedly studying the geological structure of the South Newark Basin. The $269,000 study is part of a federal program to research earthquakes nationwide, and was contracted to the university by theDepartment of Conservation and Natural Resources(DCNR) this summer, according to Philadelphia’sIntelligencernewspaper, which gathered the information through a series of right-to-know requests. In 2012 theU.S. Geological Survey(USGS) said the South Newark was one of three Mesozoic shale basins along the East Coast with the “most resource potential” for oil and gas producers (seeShale Daily,June 21, 2012). There is a 95% chance that at least 363 Bcf of undiscovered natural gas is locked in the formation, along with 1 million bbl of undiscovered natural gas liquids, USGS said. Following the USGS report, the General Assembly days later adopted a drilling moratorium for the South Newark Basin, which is located across upscale, ex-urban Philadelphia counties (seeShale Daily,July 3, 2012). The legislation forbid the state’sDepartment of Environmental Protectionfrom issuing well permits in the basin until DCNR completed a study of “the practical resource recovery implications” of the USGS report and the fiscal impact of oil and gas operations in the basin. Oil and gas operations in the South Newark Basin are already restricted by theDelaware River Basin Commission’s de facto moratorium on exploration and development (see Shale Daily,June 16, 2010).

October 3, 2013

Pennsylvania Counties Support USGS Baseline Testing of Water Wells

Officials in two Pennsylvania counties with significant oil and gas drilling that targets the Marcellus Shale say they support plans by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct baseline testing at private water wells in their counties next year.

July 30, 2013

Ohio State Researchers Want Their Own Shale Well

Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) want to set up a functioning oil and gas well at the school’s Eastern Agricultural Station in Noble County, OH, to study the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

July 25, 2013

USGS Says Shale Might Be Safe for Nuclear Waste Storage

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said shale and other formations might be a safe place to dispose of nuclear waste, specifically spent nuclear fuel (SNF) currently being stored at nuclear power plants around the world.

July 25, 2013
Arizona Geological Survey Eyes Shale Potential

Arizona Geological Survey Eyes Shale Potential

In recent months, the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) has examined shale oil and natural gas potential in southeastern and westerly parts of the state, in addition to the already exploratory drilled northern formations, particularly in the northeast Four Corners area in which the Mancos Shale is found.

July 19, 2013
Plodding Pace of BLM Permitting is Focus of Bakken Effort

Plodding Pace of BLM Permitting is Focus of Bakken Effort

With industry, a U.S. senator and North Dakota state officials all focused on robust permitting applications for oil and natural gas development in the Bakken Shale, a new collaboration of federal agencies, the Bakken Federal Executives Group, is the latest attempt to streamline federal processes that are criticized for being too slow.

June 26, 2013

Pre-Drill Methane Found in Pennsylvania Water Wells

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said it found naturally occurring dissolved methane at several household wells used for drinking water in Sullivan County, PA, during pre-drill baseline testing at sites not near existing oil and gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

June 24, 2013

USGS Finds Methane in Pennsylvania Water Wells Before Drilling

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said it found naturally occurring dissolved methane at several household wells used for drinking water in Sullivan County, PA, during pre-drill baseline testing at sites not near existing oil and gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

June 21, 2013

Producers, Environmentalists Alike Lament Draft Fracking Rule

Oil and natural gas producers still are poring over the 171-page draft rule governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activities on public lands, and while proponents and opponents agree that some concessions were made by the agency in the latest rule to avoid duplication of state and tribal fracking requirements, they say BLM could have gone further.

May 20, 2013
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