Many Pennsylvanians are aware of the recent surge in natural gas leasing activity. The vast majority of citizens, however, do not fully appreciate the scale of change such development will unleash.
The Marcellus shale is the largest unconventional natural gas reserve in the world. While reserve estimates should be considered somewhat uncertain at this early stage, as each new Marcellus well is completed, estimates of recoverable reserves of at least 489 trillion cubic feet seem increasingly reasonable. The market and strategic value of the Marcellus Shale will no doubt grow as conventional natural gas reserves are depleted and our economy adjusts to a path with lower greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas has considerably lower carbon content than petroleum and coal. The market share of natural gas in electric power generation continues to expand and opportunities for switching from petroleum to natural gas beckon in the transportation sector.
With a substantially higher pace of development during 2009, economic output will top $3.8 billion, state and local tax revenues will be more than $400 million, and total job creation will exceed 48,000.
Advances in drilling technology and highly productive wells make the Marcellus play very attractive. This study finds that activity in the Marcellus will continue to expand. Natural gas production from the Pennsylvania Marcellus could rise to almost 4 billion cubic feet BCF per day by 2020. The direct spending by Marcellus producers to support drilling operations and the royalty and other payments to land owners will stimulate business activity throughout the economy and induce households and businesses to spend earnings on additional goods and services. This study finds that the Marcellus industry could be generating $13.5 billion in value added and almost 175,000 jobs in 2020. The present value of additional state and local taxes earned from Marcellus development between now and 2020 is almost $12 billion.
All Information Credited to An Emerging Giant: Prospects and Economic Impacts of Developing the Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Play by: Timothy Considine, Ph.D., M.B.A. Robert Watson, Ph.D., P.E. Rebecca Entler Jeffrey Sparks