Garrett County and Natural Gas - Risks and Benefits

A selection of categorized links to allow one to assess the risks and benefits of gas development in Garrett Conty.

Garrett County Montage


Explanations of basic facts surrounding various aspects of developing for natural gas

- 1055 - [April, 2011] - NA, Michael J, Economides - "Ten Fracking Things Everyone Should Know"
"lHydraulic fracking has been around for 60 years. Developments made by U.S. engineers around 2008-9 have simply made the process much more commercially viable.
Since fracking was introduced in 1949, over 2 million frack treatments have been pumped without a single documented case of treatments polluting a water aquifer.
90 percent of all gas wells drilled in the United States since 1949 have been fracked."
- 1065 - [NA] - MDE, Maryland Department of the Environment, MDE, Maryland Department of the Environment - "FACTS ABOUT Hydraulic Fracturing"
"Hydraulic fracturing is a general term. All hydraulic fracturing has this in common: the goal is to create or enlarge fractures in an underground rock layer, and the means is fluid under pressure. Hydraulic fracturing allows more of what is in the rock to be released and to flow more readily.
The different forms of hydraulic fracturing are distinguished by their chemicals usage, the pressures used, the amount of water used and the use of small particles (proppants) to keep the fractures from closing. They also differ in how much of the land surface is used during drilling and well development, and how much land surface can be restored to a natural state (reclaimed) while the well is in production."
- 1075 - [July, 2014] - Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring, Noah C. Burchard - "Hydraulic Fracturing 101 Resource Guide"
"First, the well is drilled vertically, approximately 6,000 feet deep, through various geological
layers, such as limestone, siltstone mixed with shale, sandstone, and coal, to access the shale formation. To establish the site of each well pad, an area of four to six acres is leveled. Fracturing fluid is prepared aboveground at the drilling site. Water from a water storage impoundment is mixed with sand, proppant, and chemicals that assist in the fracturing process. After the fracturing process has been completed, a blowout preventer, commonly referred to as a Christmas tree, is left on the wellhead. "
- 1082 - [November 5, 2012] - ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily - "Hydro-fracking: Fact vs. fiction"
"In communities across the US, people are hearing more and more about a controversial oil and gas extraction technique called hydraulic fracturing – aka, hydro-fracking. Controversies pivot on some basic questions: Can hydro-fracking contaminate domestic wells? Does it cause earthquakes? How can we know? What can be done about these things if they are true?"
- 1095 - [NA] - ShaleTech, ShaleTech, Shale Training and Education Center - "What Is Shale Gas and Why Is It Important?"
"Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped within shale formations. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich resources of petroleum and natural gas. Sedimentary rocks are rocks formed by the accumulation of sediments at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Common sedimentary rocks include sandstone, limestone, and shale.
Over the past decade, the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has allowed access to large volumes of shale gas that were previously uneconomical to produce. The production of natural gas from shale formations has rejuvenated the natural gas industry in the United States."
- 1096 - [September 4, 2014] - U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Energy Information Administration - "Energy in Brief - Shale in the United States"
"Over the past decade, the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has provided access to large volumes of oil and natural gas that were previously uneconomic to produce from low permeability geological formations composed of shale, sandstone, and carbonate (e.g., limestone).
Shale oil and natural gas resources are found in shale formations that contain significant accumulations of natural gas and/or oil. The Barnett Shale in Texas has been producing natural gas for more than a decade. Information gained from developing the Barnett Shale provided the initial technology template for developing other shale plays in the United States. Another important shale gas play is the Marcellus Shale in the eastern United States. While the Barnett and Marcellus formations are well-known shale gas plays in the United States, more than 30 U.S. states overlie shale formations."
- 1211 - [NA] - about money, Wendy Lyons Sunshine - "Rise of U.S. Shale Gas Production - An Introduction"
"Domestic natural gas production in the United States has expanded dramatically because of a technology known as “hydraulic fracturing” (sometimes called hydrofracking or fracking) that makes retrieving natural gas from shale formations more cost effective, particularly as demand for the fuel grows. "
- 1212 - [NA] - Marcellus Drilling News, ProPublica - "The 10 Largest Natural Gas Drillers in the U.S."
"ProPublica recently compiled a list of the top 10 natural gas drillers in the U.S. based on daily natural gas production volume. The list includes gas drilled by both “traditional” vertical drilling as well as “non-traditional” horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Or think of it as non-shale gas and shale gas—companies who drill for both are in the list."
- 1214 - [2010] - Mountain Watershed Association, - "Visual Assessment Manual"
"The Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project is a new initiative at the Mountain Watershed Association. This project will provide citizens with tools and knowledge to responsibly monitor Marcellus shale development to aid in community and environmental protection. The purpose of this project is to teach citizens how provide oversight on the incoming development of the Marcellus shale. "
- 1216 - [2010] - Mountain Watershed Association, - "Visual Assessment Manual"
"The Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project is a new initiative at the Mountain Watershed Association. This project will provide citizens with tools and knowledge to responsibly monitor Marcellus shale development to aid in community and environmental protection. The purpose of this project is to teach citizens how provide oversight on the incoming development of the Marcellus shale. "
- 1233 - [November 6, 2014] - PennFuture, Cindy Dunn - "PennFuture - Every envisonental victory grows the economy."
"A presentation. PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization. We successfully advocate for legislation that protects Pennsylvania’s environment and economy and the health of its citizens (you).
We are the PA lead for the Chesapeake Choose Clean Water Coalition
Our law staff makes sure the rules are followed."
- 1240 - [NA] - Maryland Geological Survey (MGS), Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) - "Is there a natural gas boom in Maryland’s future?"
"Since roughly mid-2006, Garrett and Allegany Counties have been receiving considerable interest by energy companies as a possible source of natural gas from a geologic formation known as the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus Shale has long been known as an organic-rich shale in the Appalachians, occurring at the surface and in the subsurface from New York to eastern Tennessee. However, the Marcellus had never been a target for gas exploration because it was not economical for the companies involved.That is about to change, as drilling techniques developed in the past ten years are being used in the Marcellus in Pennsylvania (and to a lesser extent in West Virginia) and will soon be used in New York and Maryland."
- 1244 - [NA] - Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, University of Maryland Public Health Report - "Marcellus Shale and Public Health"
"The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene contracted with the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Institute for Applied Environmental Health (MIAEH) to study the potential public health impacts of natural gas development and production in the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland. This project is part of Governor O'Malley's Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative and was funded by the State. The results of this independent study were presented on June 28, 2014 at Garrett Community College, and will be presented to the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission at its August 18, 2014 meeting. Representatives of MIAEH will attend the Commission's September 15, 2014 to answer questions."
- 1253 - [NA] - PSR - Physicians for Social Responsibility, PSR - "Hydraulic Fracturing"
"Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is a natural gas extraction process that is proving to have negative consequences for human health and for climate change. Fracking for natural gas extraction creates potentially harmful health effects along its entire life cycle: the hydraulic fracturing technique itself, as well as associated processes including road building, pad clearing, truck trips, drilling, cementing, flowback waters, offgassing, fugitive emissions, compressors, and pipelines. Among the most serious sources of concern are:
• Toxic drilling fluids and fracturing fluids, injected deep underground and then withdrawn, may contaminate underground aquifers and surface waters.
• Air emissions including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) threaten human health, especially of workers and residents of the immediate vicinity.
• Diesel pollution and noise pollution can be constant, as truck traffic is intensive and fracking continues 24-7.
• Stress factors affect the quality of life in communities where drilling occurs.
• Methane leaks accelerate climate change. Methane is 72 times more potent at capturing heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after release."
- 1254 - [2013] - Unknown, Unknown - "Unconventional Natural Gas Development: Pipelines"
"Maryland has nearly 16,000 miles of pipeline. There were 79 “significant incidents” in Maryland from 2002 through 2011, totaling $27,829,363.00 in property damage and causing 2 deaths and 16 injuries.
A review of Maryland’s natural gas regulations has shown serious gaps in its pipeline development and safety standards. There are 3 kinds of pipelines used in transporting natural gas: gathering (production), transmission and distribution lines. ii The Maryland Public Service Commission(PSC) and Department of Environment(MDE) have identified gaps in oversight regarding pipelines. Currently companies self inspect and self report violations and incidents, a protocol that the agencies recognize is not sufficient for protecting the citizens of Maryland."
- 1270 - [NA] - Swarthmore College, Environmental Studies Capstone - "Comparison Against Other Fossil Fuels"
"The United States generates most of its energy through the burning of fossil fuels. Not only are fossil fuels a non-renewable resource, they pollute the environment and contribute to climate change. It is important that the U.S. becomes less reliant on fossil fuels and begins to use primarily renewable energy sources. Natural gas is a major source of energy in the U.S. (Figure 1, data from EIA, 2008) and is used by several sectors (Figure 2, data from EIA, 2008).
The Marcellus Shale contains 50 trillion cubic feet of extractable natural gas, which can supply the United States with 2 years of gas assuming current consumption rates are constant."
- 1272 - [NA] - Swarthmore College, Environmental Studies Capstone - "How Hydraulic Fracturing Works"
"...Hydraulic Fracturing wells can be drilled either vertically or horizontally. Horizontal wells are more expensive and difficult to drill accurately than vertical wells, but they allow the operator to extract more gas from a single well, vastly reducing the impact on the surface and increasing the economic viability of the well. The Marcellus shale lies below the drinking water aquifer, and is separated from the aquifer by rock of extremely low permeability. After the well is drilled, it is cased in steel and concrete to prevent the well from caving in on itself and to prevent fracturing fluid and natural gas from migrating into the groundwater supply...."
- 1293 - [NA] - LOGA - Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, Louisiana Oil & Gas Association - "Shale Drilling"
"The Haynesville formation is a layer of sedimentary rock more than 10,000 feet below the surface of the Earth in the area of northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas and eastern Texas, with some of the formation stretching well across the northern central portion of the Louisiana. Several energy companies have begun work in the area to explore the shale formation and drill for natural gas based on findings indicating a potentially large supply of gas trapped within some portions of the shale.
There are two kinds of oil and gas deposits: conventional and unconventional. The Haynesville Shale is considered to be an unconventional deposit by geologists because the methane gas is not located in highly porous rock formations, which create easy-to-access pockets of gas (known as “conventional” deposits). In the Haynesville Shale, the source rock in the shale has to be fractured to release the gas.
- See more at:"
- 1294 - [NA] - LOGA - Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, LOGA - Louisiana Oil & Gas Association - "Horizontal Drilling & Hydraulic Fracturing Animation"
"Horizontal drilling is the process of drilling a well from the surface to a subsurface location just above the target oil or gas reservoir called the "kickoff point", then deviating the well bore from the vertical plane around a curve to intersect the reservoir at the "entry point" with a near-horizontal inclination, and remaining within the reservoir until the desired bottom hole location is reached."
- 1296 - [July 22, 2011] - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, - "Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission"
"Governor Tom Corbett has called the Marcellus Shale natural gas play an “economic cornerstone” of the
Commonwealth’s recovery from the recession, which has impacted the nation over the past four years. The development of vast natural gas resources trapped beneath more than half of Pennsylvania has created tens of thousands of new jobs, generated billions of dollars in tax and lease revenues for the Commonwealth and its citizens, infused billions of additional dollars in bonus lease and royalty payments to landowners, and significantly expanded access to clean, affordable energy sources for residential, commercial and industrial customers."
- 1304 - [NA] - API - American Petroleum Institute, API - American Petroleum Institute - "Shale Energy: 10 Points Everyone Should Know"
"Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling apply the latest technologies and make it commercially viable to recover shale gas and oil. Without it, we would lose 45 percent of domestic natural gas production and 17 percent of our oil production within 5 years...."
- 1327 - [December 2011] - The Ohio State University Department of Agriculture, Mark Partridge and Amanda Weistein - "The Economic Value of Shale Natural Gas in Ohio"
"Increased production of US natural gas in recent years has helped to meet the growing demands of
American customers and has reduced natural gas imports. Natural gas is also a cleaner burning fuel when compared to its most realistic substitute, coal. This substantial increase in production has been attributed in large part due to the development of shale gas through a process called hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing has enabled the expansion of natural gas extraction into new undeveloped areas. The Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania has experienced impressive growth in its natural gas industry and neighboring Ohio is beginning down the same path. Proponents argue that among the many purported advantages, natural gas production is associated with significant amounts of new economic activity.
Economists have 150 years of experience in examining energy booms and busts throughout the world to form their expectations of how energy development affects regional economies. Generally, economists find that energy development is associated with small or even negative long-run impacts. They refer to a "natural resources curs" phenomenon associated with the surprisingly poor performance of resource abundant economies. There appears to be more examples like Louisiana, West Virginia, Venezuela, and Nigeria of energy economies seemingly underperforming and few examples of places such as Alberta and Norway of relative over performance. This backdrop needs to be considered in forming good policy in Ohio in order to avoid being in the former group."
- 1329 - [July 24, 2009] - The Pennsylvania State University - College of Earth & Mineral Sciences - Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, Timothy Considine, Ph.D., M.B.A., Robert Watson, Ph.D., P.E., Rebecca Entler, Jeffrey Sparks - "An Emerging Giant: Prospects and Economic Impacts of Developing the Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Play"
"Many Pennsylvanians are aware of the recent surge in natural gas leasing activity. The vast majority of citizens, however, do not fully appreciate the scale of change such development will unleash. This report educates the public on the current size, economic impacts, and future prospects of the Marcellus shale gas industry in Pennsylvania"
- 1357 - [December 2014] - New York State Department of Public Health, New York State Department of Public Health - "A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydrualic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development"
"The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is charged with protecting the public health of New Yorkers. In assessing whether public health would be adequately protected from a complex activity such as high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF), a guarantee of abso lute safety is not required. However, at a minimum, there must be sufficient information to understand what the likely public health risks will be. Currently, that information is insufficient."
- 1359 - [NA] - Southampton University, Ian West - "Petroleum Geology of the South of England"
"Introduction - Geology of the Wessex Coast of Southern England.A very interesting site that gives lots of information about the interpretation of the local geology. "
- 1362 - [December 2013] - Department of Energy and Climate Change, Department of Energy and Climate Change - "Developing Onshore Shale Gas and Oil – Facts about ‘Fracking’"
"Shale gas and oil could provide the UK with greater energy security, growth, jobs and tax revenue. The Government is encouraging safe and environmentally sound exploration to determine our shale potential. The UK has a strong regulatory regime for exploratory activities but we continuously look to improve it."
- 1370 - [NA] - IFP Energie Novelles, IFP Energie Novelles - "NA"
"An animation of the whole gas development process."
- 1386 - [November 2013] - - geoscience news and information, - "Marcellus Shale - Appalachian Basin Natural Gas Play"
"A few years ago every geologist involved in Appalachian Basin oil and gas knew about the Devonian black shale called the Marcellus. Its black color made it easy to spot in the field and its slightly radioactive signature made it a very easy pick on a geophysical well log.
However, very few of these geologists were excited about the Marcellus Shale as a major source of natural gas. Wells drilled through it produced some gas but rarely in enormous quantity. Few if any in the natural gas industry suspected that the Marcellus might soon be a major contributor to the natural gas supply of the United States - large enough to be spoken of as a "super giant" gas field. "
- 1393 - [NA] - The Institute for Energy & Environmental Research for NorthEastern Pennsylvania - Marcellus SHale Informtion Clearing House, The Institute for Energy & Environmental Research for NorthEastern Pennsylvania - "How long are wells in operation?"
"Many factors typically influence the production life of a natural gas well. The initial production rate and the amount of natural gas present are the biggest determinants of a well’s life span. Other factors include the decline rate of the natural gas in a particular spot, unpredictable prices, and the production cost versus the return of natural gas. For example, a company is unlikely to continue investing time and money if a well is not producing enough gas to make a profit. Based on studies of the decline in rate of production of natural gas wells in Texas, it is estimated that some wells can be active for 20 to 30 years. Some sources even estimate that wells can remain active for up to 40 years. New studies are trying to predict the potential life of the Marcellus gas wells in Pennsylvania. "
- 1400 - [January 7, 2015] -, NA - "the U.S. is counting on a long-term abundance of oil & natural gas. But what if the boom is just a bubble?"
"In recent years Americans have been hearing that the United States is poised to regain its role as the world’s premier oil and natural gas producer, thanks to the widespread use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). This “shale revolution,” we’re told, will fundamentally change the U.S. energy picture for decades to come—leading to energy independence, a rebirth of U.S. manufacturing, and a surplus supply of both oil and natural gas that can be exported to allies around the world. This promise of oil and natural gas abundance is influencing climate policy, foreign policy, and investments in alternative energy sources.
The primary source for these rosy expectations of future production is the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).
But what if the EIA’s forecasts are wrong?"
- 1441 - [December 4, 2012] - Clear Waters, Susan J. Riha and Brian G. Rahm - "Framework for Assessing Water Resource Impacts from Shale Gas Drilling"
"In 2009,23 percent of total energy, including 40 percent of electricity, consumed in the United States was derived from natural gas. About 88 percent was produced within the United States (with most of the remainder coming from Canada). Since 2007, the proportion of domestic gas supplies from shale has steadily increased and is expected to continue to increase, relieving the need to meet demand in the near future with imports. The Marcellus Shale, which is a geologic formation found under much of southern New York, may contain more recoverable natural gas than any other shale formation in the United States. Recoverable reserves of natural gas in the Marcellus was estimated in one study to be more than 20 times the total amount consumed in the United States in 2009."
- 1443 - [June 22, 2014] -, - "Now Drilling/Fracking on Marcellus Shale"
"Photos of gas drilling in Washington County, Greene County and other parts of southwestern Pennsylvania, as well as northern tier Pennsylvania counties like Tioga, Bradford and Lycoming. Also parts of northern West Virginia including the WV Panhandle, and sites in eastern Ohio over the Utica Shale... all the hot spots in the Marcellus and Utica Shale natural gas drilling boom! GPS has been added to show the approximate locations of some of these various gas production sites, and the dates will help provide a timeline for drilling and subsequent production activities like fracking and flaring"
- 1484 - [January 9, 2013] - Earthworks, Earthworks - "Hydraulic Fracturing 101"
"Geologic formations may contain large quantities of oil or gas, but have a poor flow rate due to low permeability, or from damage or clogging of the formation during drilling. This is particularly true for tight sands, shales and coal-bed methane formations.
Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking, which rhymes with cracking) stimulates wells drilled into these formations, making profitable otherwise prohibitively expensive extraction. Within the past decade, the combination of hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling has opened up shale deposits across the country and brought large-scale natural gas drilling to new regions. "
- 1485 - [NA] - NA, America's Oil and Natural Gas Industry - "Hydraulic Fracturing - Unlocking America's Natural Gas Resources"
"Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are safely unlocking vast U.S. reserves of oil and natural gas found in shale and other tight-rock formations. Developing energy from shale is an advanced process that uses the latest drilling technologies and equipment. As for what fracking means to the United States – the answers, are security, economic growth and jobs, jobs, jobs."
- 1486 - [February 2015] - howstuffworks, Kate Kershner - "How Hydraulic Fracking Works"
"To understand why fracking was developed, imagine a traditional drilling operation. A well works great if we're tapping into a big pool of gas or water underground, allowing us to pump up the resource from the reservoir. But when the resource we're trying to capture is trapped tightly in the pores of shale, how do we release it and bring it to the surface?"
- 1761 - [October 19, 2014] - PBS Newshour, Jenny Marder - "Fracking: What is it, and Is it Safe?"
"In a three-part series that airs on the NewsHour this week, Ray Suarez and producer Merrill Schwerin have taken a sweeping look at the impact of energy production and usage. They’ve covered the switch from coal to natural gas in Colorado and the debate it’s set off between industry groups. They’ve covered a fight by environmentalists to save fragile land in Eastern Utah from drilling. And they’ve brought us the “boomtown” of Williston, North Dakota transformed by the discovery of oil."
- 1762 - [August 8, 2012] - Nature World News, Jenna Iacurci - "The Pros and Cons of Fracking"
"Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," has gained popularity over recent years, and given the controversy over this practice, new research decided to lay out some of its environmental pros as well as cons.
Fracking involves blasting huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to access valuable oil and natural gas. While this is a form of alternative energy, it also has harmful environmental implications, influencing local air pollution, earthquakes and, especially, clean water supply.
A group of environmental scientists from Stanford University set out to answer some common questions about fracking."
- 1827 - [December 30, 2012] - TheTribune, Sharon Dunn - "Fracking 101: Breaking down the most important part of today's oil, gas drilling"
"The two- to three-day process of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas is perhaps one of the most misunderstood drilling practices, becoming as bad of a word in some circles as a racial slur."
- 1829 - [October 19, 2013] - Energy Information Administration, EIA - "Drilling Sideways -- A Review of Horizontal Well Technology and Its Domestic Application - DOE/EIA-TR-0565"
"The use of horizontal drilling technology in oil exploration, development, and production operations has grown rapidly over the past 5 years. This report reviews the technology, its history, and its current domestic application. It also considers related technologies that will increasingly affect horizontal drilling’s future"
- 1830 - [April 1993] - Shale Stuff, NA - "Process of Fracking"
"The Marcellus shale is a rock formation that lies more than a mile beneath the earth’s surface. The formation is special because it contains a significant volume of natural gas trapped inside tiny spaces within the rock. It is estimated that the gas within the rock could supply the United States for the next decade – this is a result of the newer technologies used to drill below the earth’s surface."
- 1831 - [NA] -, NA - "Fracking"
"Fracking is slang for hydraulic fracturing, and both terms describe the process used to frack (or frac) Marcellus Shale gas wells. To release methane from shale, high pressure is used to crack the shale formation. While there are alternatives to water for fracking gas wells (like nitrogen) production companies prefer to use water since higher hydraulic pressures can be created."
- 1888 - [NA] - Questerre Energy Corporation, Questerre Energy Corporation - "Shale Gas 101"
"Shale gas is natural gas stored in rocks that are rich in organic material such as dark colored shale. Gas shales are often both the source rocks and the reservoir for the natural gas, which is stored in three ways:
* adsorbed onto insoluble organic matter,kerogen that forms a molecular or atomic film
* trapped in the pore spaces of the fine grained sediments interbedded with shale much like conventional reservoirs
* confined in fractures within the shale itself
Organic-rich shales, which traditionally have been viewed as source and cap rocks for hydrocarbon reservoirs, are also now viewed as reservoir rocks."