How much gas is in the Marcellus Shale?

According to the USGS assessment, the Marcellus Shale contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids.

 

Undiscovered resources are those that are estimated to exist based on geologic knowledge and theory, while technically recoverable resources are those that can be produced using currently available technology and industry practices. Whether or not it is profitable to produce these resources has not been evaluated.

 

The Marcellus Shale assessment covered areas in Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Date published: March 25, 2015

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Appalachian coal and petroleum resources are still available in sufficient quantities to contribute significantly to fulfilling the nation’s energy needs, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Date published: August 23, 2011

USGS Releases New Assessment of Gas Resources in the Marcellus Shale, Appalachian Basin

The Marcellus Shale contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids according to a new assessment by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). 

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Image: Marcellus Shale Drill Rig
March 14, 2016

A drill rig at a well site in the Marcellus Shale gas play of southwestern Pennsylvania.

(grey-colored rock) Cherry Valley shale
March 5, 2015

Exposure of the Marcellus shale in central New York showing the Cherry Valley limestone (grey-colored rock) between the Union Springs and Oatka Creek shales of the Marcellus.

Marcellus assessment units

Map of the Appalachian Basin Province showing the three Marcellus Shale assessment units, which encompass the extent of the Middle Devonian from its zero isopach edge in the west to its erosional truncation within the Appalachian fold and thrust belt in the east.

Image: Marcellus Shale Outcrop in Highland County, Virginia

A Marcellus Shale outcrop in Highland County, Virginia, shows at the surface the object of shale gas development drilling in nearby states. Assessing undiscovered gas resources, like the USGS 2011 assessment of the Marcellus Shale, uses geologic mapping of outcrops like this in addition to extensive drilling, production, and geophysical data.

Marcellus Shale Storage Tanks

Storage tanks for produced water from natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale gas play of western Pennsylvania.