The gas-rich rock, otherwise known as the Marcellus Shale, has lead to a boom in production and jobs. Advances in drilling technology have made the shale accessible, and natural gas prices are dropping at a rapid rate.
In 2011, Marcellus Shale gas wells in Pennsylvania generated about $3.5 billion in gross revenues for drillers. This information is based off of an analysis by The Associated Press.
In the nearby future, more jobs will be created by petrochemical companies that process the gas into other industrial and consumer compounds.
Just a few years ago, drillers were being paid $4 to $6 for every cubic feet of gas. Now the price is approximately $2.50 – meaning industry revenues will drop as production grows. Drillers are slowing production in an attempt to boost prices, but the natural gas continues to flow with many areas that can be profitably drilled.
The development of natural gas is said to be bigger than any new energy development in the past few decades. The real value of shale gas is that the lower energy cost is making American industry more competitive around the world – which will open the door for long term investments.
Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said the current low natural gas prices benefit consumers throughout the state.
“Every single Pennsylvanian has more money in their pocket today — to save, invest and help make ends meet — as a result of plentiful natural gas development from the Marcellus Shale,” says Klaber.