EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMarcellus Shale Powers A Growing Industry
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Aug. 27, 2013 6:16 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 28, 2013 9:20 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Business in the Marcellus Shale gas fields of West Virginia is booming. It's projected that Mountain State natural gas production will increase by 50 percent this year.
While natural gas doesn't provide much electricity, it is a valuable commodity that is exported to the energy-hungry markets of the northeast.
Horizontal drilling techniques and hydrofracturing methods opened the Marcellus Shale for investment, which totals into the billions of dollars. An industry that's been active in the state for more than a century suddenly had a bright future.
"We have been producing it commercially for 200 years," Corky DeMarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association said. "Now we know we've got at least 200 years more of supply. And there are probably formations deeper that we will go get as technology improves. It's the mother lode of energy for this country.
DeMarco says the massive Marcellus Shale reserves, and the Utica reserves which are even deeper underground, offer West Virginia a chance to become an international exporter of natural gas. He says in the near future, natural gas could challenge middle eastern oil as the major source of power in Europe.
"Anti-natural gas movies have been underwritten by folks in the middle east," DeMarco said. "We know that Vladimir Putin, he's worried about natural gas production because right now he supplies and Russia supplies western Europe. We have the potential and we will soon be an international supplier of liquified natural gas."
With more and more infrastructure being put into the West Virginia gas fields, DeMarco says the expansion of production should continue in the state for the next several years.
"God didn't want us to be farmers or he would have made the land around here flat," DeMarco said. "He wants us to use the resources in the land that we have and I think it's up to us to do it in a responsible way."
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