History and Facts: The Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Field Formation, (see additional maps) which extends through Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and West Virgina, is a part of the Devonian Black Shale Field. The Marcellus Shale play is hinted to hold a huge amount of natural gas, causing companies to go on a gigantic mineral rights land grab! This shale rock formation was named after the town of Marcellus, New York due to the outcrop formation in the shale. The Marcellus shale extends over 575 miles and has a thickness of up to 900 feet. Also known as the Pennsylvania Shale (or New York Shale, West Virginia Shale, Ohio Shale) this geologic natural gas shale was reported to hold more then 1.9 trillion cubic feet back in 2002.
What is Shale Gas?: Shale Gas, natural gas located in shale rock, is located far beneath the earth's surface. Because shale has insufficient permeability to allow significant fluid flow to a well bore, most shale is not a source of natural gas. Shale gas is one of a number of “unconventional” sources of natural gas; other unconventional sources of natural gas include coalbed methane, tight sandstones, and methane hydrates
Shale has low matrix permeability, so gas production in commercial quantities requires fractures to provide permeability. Shale gas has been produced for years from shales with natural fractures; the shale gas boom in recent years has been due to modern technology in creating extensive artificial fractures around well bores. Horizontal drilling is often used with shale gas wells.
Mineral Rights: Mineral Rights, Drilling Rights, Mining rights, are the right to remove a resource from under the ground (Oil, Water, Natural Gas). This legal contract is between the owner of the land and the company that intends remove this resource. This type of legal contract is common in the Marcellus shale area.