USGS sees 84 tcf, 3.4 billion bbl in Marcellus

By OGJ editors

The Middle Devonian Marcellus shale in the US Appalachian basin contains 84 tcf of gas and 3.4 billion bbl of natural gas liquids, the US Geological Survey said Aug. 23.

The assessment, couched as undiscovered, technically recoverable hydrocarbons, is far above the 2 tcf and 10 million bbl the agency gave the formation in its 2002 assessment.

The USGS said the increase is due to new geologic information and engineering data on the unconventional play.

“Since the 1930s, almost every well drilled through the Marcellus found noticeable quantities of natural gas,” USGS said. “However, in late 2004, the Marcellus was recognized as a potential reservoir rock, instead of just a regional source rock, meaning that the gas could be produced from it instead of just being a source for the gas.”

USGS estimated that there is a 95% chance that the Marcellus holds at least 43 tcf of gas and a 5% possibility that it contains as much as 144.1 tcf. The mean is 84 tcf. There are no conventional petroleum resources assessed in the Marcellus shale.

The agency said the new estimates are for technically recoverable oil and gas resources, which are those quantities of oil and gas producible using available technology and industry practices, regardless of economic or accessibility considerations. As such, it said, the estimates include resources beneath both onshore and offshore areas such as Lake Erie and beneath areas where accessibility may be limited by policy and regulations imposed by land managers and regulatory agencies.

The assessment covered areas in Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. About 96% of the resource lies in the Interior Marcellus Assessment Unit, which extends from near Woodstock, NY, to Charleston, W.Va.

USGS worked with Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio geological surveys and representatives from the oil and gas industry and academia in developing the assessment.

Related Articles

Tullow Oil provides production update on Jubilee, other fields

07/01/2015 Tullow Oil PLC reported that gross production for the Jubilee field offshore Ghana averaged 105,000 b/d in this year’s first half, up from 102,000 ...

Mubadala starts production at Nong Yao in Gulf of Thailand

06/29/2015 Mubadala Petroleum, Abu Dhabi, started production on June 17 from its Nong Yao oil field in the G11/48 concession of the southern Gulf of Thailand.

OGJ Newsletter


Security through change


At the start of this month the US Army published its "Energy Security & Sustainability (ES2) Strategy" report. 

Junex provides update on Galt oil property drilling

06/26/2015 Junex Inc., Quebec City, Que., said it is finalizing construction of the surface drilling pad for the Junex Galt No. 5 horizontal well that the com...

American Energy to spin off, rename another unit

06/25/2015 American Energy–Midstream LLC, a unit of Oklahoma City-based American Energy Partners LP (AEP), is transitioning to a standalone company and will c...

Lundin spuds three wells offshore Norway

06/24/2015 Lundin Norway AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lundin Petroleum AB, spudded three wells: its second Alta appraisal well in the Barents Sea, an appr...

State approves Shell’s plan for US Appalachian ethylene plant

06/23/2015 Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has approved a permit allowing Royal Dutch Shell PLC subsidiary Shell Chemical LP to pr...

WPX Energy adds to acreage in Gallup oil play

06/22/2015 WPX Energy Inc., Tulsa, has added to its San Juan Gallup acreage in New Mexico with the purchase of another 14,300 net acres from an undisclosed se...
White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Better Data, Better Analytics, Better Decisions

When Tue, Oct 27, 2015

The Oil & Gas industry has large amounts of data stored in multiple systems which are purpose built for certain tasks. However, good decisions require insights based upon the data in all of these systems. These systems in turn do not talk to each other. So the process of analyzing data, gaining insights, and making decisions is a slow one and often a flawed one. Good decisions require accurate analytics and accurate analytics require superior/sustainable data quality and governance. This webinar focuses on:

  • The importance of data quality and governance
  • How technological advances are making data quality and governance sustainable in order to get the accurate analytics to make solid decisions.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Seven Lakes Technologies and Noah Consulting.


Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected