The United States Geological Survey (USGS) announced Tuesday, August 23, that the Marcellus shale formation contains significantly more natural gas than had been predicted by the most recent assessment which happened almost ten years ago.
Marcellus shale, which exists beneath several states that span from New York to West Virginia, contains an estimated 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The government assessment that happened in 2002 estimated that the formation contained 2 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.
The new estimate was perceived as good news by groups in the industry, according to The Associated Press. "While some critics continue to question the viability of responsible domestic shale gas development, it is abundantly clear — as laid out by this new data — that the Marcellus shale will continue to lead the way in meeting American's energy needs for years to come," stated Kathryn Z. Klaber, who is the president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
This new information was made possible by technological advancements related to drilling processes, the media outlet reports. Significant progress in technology utilized for producing gas has been made over the last decade.