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Horizontal drilling to reach a potential gold mine

November 08, 2010

Shale gas is very much in the news these days and it appears that this natural energy source could become the energy resource of the future in North America. Centered in Pennsylvania, the Marcellus shale formation, the largest shale deposit in the United States could possibility create thousands of jobs and supply the United States with its own fuel resources. This reservoir of natural gas could have major economic implications, not only for the U.S., but for the world.

Cleaner energy
This supply of cleaner burning fuel could potentially generate electricity that would result in 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than coal and cause less pollutants when powering motor vehicles.

Marcellus Reservoir
This reservoir extends from New York State through much of north eastern and western Pennsylvania and through parts of West Virginia and Ohio. This shale formation has attracted billions of dollars in investments from companies all over the world. Within the next ten years more than 3 500 wells may be drilled by 70 companies, conceivably creating more than 200 000 jobs.

Shale gas
Shale gas refers to natural gas, primarily methane, which is found in fine-grained, organic-rich rocks, known as gas shales. Shale gas has become a significant source of natural gas in the U.S in the past ten years, and awareness of potential gas shales is increasing in Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.

Gas “shales” are not a specific type of rock, but refer to various types of fine-grained particle rocks such as mudstone, shale, siltstone, carbonate rocks and fine-grained sandstone with layers of shale or mudstone. Gas shale refers to a reservoir or a trap where natural gas is contained.

Creation of shale gas
Shale gas is generated through any blend of primary thermogenic degradation of organic matter, secondary thermogenic cracking of oil or biogenic degradation of organic matter.

Horizontal drilling
The exploration and production of shale gas is a technology driven industry since complex technologies are required to access the low-permeability reservoirs.
The horizontal drilling technique that is used in the shale gas industry enables drilling companies to access the gas from a distance, stay out of sensitive areas, reduce damage to the rock during drilling, maximize the drainage area of the well and decrease the visual impact by reducing the number of vertical wells.

Geologists believe that the Marcellus shale formation may contain up to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it the second-largest reservoir in the world. This massive natural gas resource, which geologists have known about for 75 years, was thought to be inaccessible until ten years ago when producers began using high-volume hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to access it.

PVC Plus Drilling Products is a distributor and manufacturer of environmental drilling products supplying a wide range of drilling products including monitoring well supplies, drilling fluids and well drilling supplies. PVC Plus Drilling Products also sells geothermal supplies such as geothermal pipe, geothermal fittings and slotted pipe.

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