Marcellus Shale boosts economy -- new job opportunities soar

By Phaedra Friend Troy

According to a study conducted by energy professors at Penn State University, the Marcellus Shale is pumping billions of dollars into the state’s economy while providing tens of thousands of jobs.

The Marcellus Shale has the potential to be the second largest natural gas field in the world, only behind the South Pars/Asalouyeh field in Iran and Qatar. 

According to the report entitled, The Economic Impacts of the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Play: An Update, the natural gas present in the Marcellus Shale could be has large as 87 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

While development of the Marcellus Shale is still in its infancy, the number of jobs created from the natural gas play is in the thousands. Furthermore, the state is able to collect billions of dollars in annual revenues.

The development of this shale affects the economy both by business-to-business spending and through royalties paid to landowners.

In 2009 alone, Marcellus Shale producers spent some $4.5 billion to develop these resources and created more than 44,000 jobs. Additionally, the average daily production of Marcellus Shale in 2009 was 327 million cubic feet per day of natural gas equivalents.

Looking forward, the study expects spending on exploration, development and production of the Marcellus Shale to increase to $8 billion in 2010 and $10 billion in 2011, with the number of jobs created by the Marcellus Shale increasing to 88,000 in 2010 and 111,000 in 2011.

Furthermore, the Penn State study predicts that natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale will increase to 1 billion cubic feet per day in 2010 and 2.5 billion cubic feet per day in 2011.

The Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania is one of five major shale plays in the US, including the Barnett, Haynesvile, Fayetteville, Woodford and Eagle Ford Shales.

“The game-changing development of natural gas supplies in shale regions has great potential to improve the economic well-being of communities across the United States, while providing access to a clean domestic energy source,” said Regina Hopper, America’s Natural Gas Alliance president and CEO, in a response to the Penn State study results. 

For a comprehensive list of shale opportunities, as well as oil, natural gas and power careers in the US and abroad, visit PennEnergy Jobs today.

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