A critical evaluation of unconventional gas recovery from the marcellus shale, northeastern United States

Dae Sung Lee, Jonathan D. Herman, Derek Elsworth, Hyun Tae Kim, Hyun Suk Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Marcellus tight gas shale represents a significant resource within the northeastern United States. It is both a large reserve, with an estimated 30 to 300 TCF of recoverable gas, and is close to some of the largest prospective markets in the country. However, production is fraught with technological obstacles, the most significant of which include prospecting, access by drilling, stimulation, and recovery. Prospecting is difficult because viability of the reservoir relies both on the original gas in place and in the ability to access that gas through pre-existing fractures that may be developed through stimulation. Drilling is a challenge since drilling costs typically comprise 50% of the cost of the wells and access to the reservoir is improved with horizontal drilling which may access a longer productive zone within the reservoir than cheaper vertical wells. Finally, stimulation methods are necessary to improve gas yields and to reduce the environmental impacts of both consumptive water use and the subsequent problems of safe disposal of fracwater waste. We discuss the challenges involved in the economic recovery of gas from tight gas shales in general and the Marcellus in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-687
Number of pages9
JournalKSCE Journal of Civil Engineering
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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