From the moment the rush began to develop the vast untapped resources of gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale, economists and industry analysts warned that the massive explosion of cash that was pouring into the state — and in many cases right back out of it — would ebb and flow.
When the reserves of Marcellus Shale gas in the tri-state area proved vast — 84 trillion cubic feet by one estimate — it was no surprise when the region became the epicenter of a thriving new industry. What may have been unexpected was the extent to which the Marcellus boom would invigorate the economy…
It was hailed as a game changer. Almost immediately after the first Marcellus Shale natural gas well was spudded in a rocky hilltop in Washington County, unleashing for the first time a vast cache of domestically produced energy, the discovery was hailed as the harbinger of a revolution in energy…
A century and a half ago, a desperate, down-on-his-luck former railroad man named Edwin Drake wandered into a remote hollow in northwestern Pennsylvania and stuck a drill a few dozen yards down into the rocky soil.
In May, my wife, Cindy, and I became the first Americans to drive from coast-to-coast in a natural-gas-powered vehicle. The idea first occurred to me last fall after retiring from EQT. I had the time, and the project intrigued me.
It was, on the surface, a devastating indictment: a report in The New York Times, the nation’s leading newspaper, alleging that the natural gas industry — an eclectic and fiercely competitive collection of players that included in its ranks everyone from cowboy drillers to staid overseas nationals like StatOil Hydro — may have joined…
There is no doubt about it. The Marcellus Shale is radioactive, in every sense of the word. In the literal sense of the word, geologists and drillers have long known that each shale deposit has its own radioactive signature.
From Pittsburgh to the hills of West Virginia, a small army of scientists is racing to tame the billions of tons of carbon vented from coal-burning power plants, working with data sets, computer models, cost analyses and other such tools that belie the drama of their high-stakes investigation.
It was mid-afternoon in late winter, and the public relations man for one of the larger drilling companies in Pennsylvania was driving me back along a rutted country road from a rig we had just visited.
It’s early, the sun is just peeking up over those western Pennsylvania hills, and it’s cold and bleak as he pulls into the brightly lit service station-cum-convenience store to fill up the pressed-steel canyon that is the fuel tank of the company-owned Cummins 3500 pickup he’s driving.
Turn on a light bulb. Run the dishwasher. Boot up the computer. Run a Google search. Somewhere, a turbine spins, a coal-laden barge docks near a power plant, a nuclear reactor harvests the bound-up energy of a uranium atom.