The Marcellus Shale, which stretches across New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland, has been the most productive natural gas field in the United States this year, according to The Associated Press. Federal data showed that wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia alone produce 7 billion cubic feet of gas per day, accounting for about 25 percent of all gas production nationwide.
A recent report said the Marcellus could contain as much as nearly half of all current proven natural gas reserves in the United States. The high production of domestic gas coming from the development is helping to lower natural gas prices across the nation.
The use of hydraulic fracturing has increased gas exploration in the Marcellus, but states have also created legislation that places tougher restrictions on the process of injecting water, sand and hazardous chemicals down a gas well. For example, in Pennsylvania, developers now have to pay an impact fee and adhere to tougher state safety standards regarding fracking, the AP reported.
However, others say fracturing has made it possible for developers to increase domestic gas supplies, lowering prices across the nation.
"It's very clear that the U.S. energy industry [is] undergoing a renaissance as we've learned how to tap shale gas and shale oil," said Jason Stevens, a midstream analyst at Morningstar, according to a US News and World Report article.