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The negative affects that natural gas drilling in the marcellus shale region will have on the enviroment and specifically the de - Essay Example

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Natural Gas Drilling in Marcellus Shale Region – Environmental Impact Introduction This paper would be focusing on the adverse impact that the natural gas drilling operations of the Marcellus Shale Region will be exerting on the environment. In fact, it (paper) would particularly emphasize upon the damaging effects that the operations are going to cause to the Delaware River…
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The negative affects that natural gas drilling in the marcellus shale region will have on the enviroment and specifically the de
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Download file to see previous pages Marcellus shale is organic rich and carbonaceous shale of lesser density, and which is found under the subsurface of the regions of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. As a matter of fact, tiny parts of Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee have also been found to be having Marcellus shale. (1) Almost till the recent past, the avenue of geology hardly considered Marcellus shale to be a primary natural gas source. Even though drilling of wells was carried out at that time itself, yet, the quantity of natural gas produced was too small to be generating any interest in Marcellus shale, for the geologists. During that period, no one could anticipate that natural gas produced from Marcellus would constitute a major chunk of the entire supply (of natural gas), of the US. (1) It was in the year 2002 that the Geological Survey of the United States ascertained that untapped natural gas present in the Marcellus shale was to the tune of 1.9 trillion cubic feet. Subsequently, the natural gas drilling operations were initiated by Appalachia, LLC in Washington and Pennsylvania, in the year 2003. The supply of natural gas discovered by this company was highly impressive. After that, there has been a rapid growth in the drilling activities in the regions having Marcellus shale. In fact, it has been estimated that as of the year 2007, well over 375 gas wells were authorized in the zone of Pennsylvania. (1) Numerous companies are now conducting drilling operations in the Marcellus shale regions. North Coast Energy, Range Resources, Equitable Production Company, Fortuna Energy and Atlas Energy Resources, to name a few, are some of the players endeavoring to benefit by the potential of Marcellus shale. It has been calculated that as of the year 2010, the number of wells that have been drilled in the zones (with Marcellus shale) is about 1386. Some sections of the natural gas sector are strongly opining that wells of Marcellus shale would yield natural gas enough to assure profits to companies, at least for the next few decades. (1) Environmental Effects The surge in natural gas drilling operations in the Marcellus shale zones is undoubtedly addressing the all-important issue of unemployment. As a matter of fact, it is being projected that during the course of the next decade approximately 20, 000 jobs would be generated, courtesy the natural gas drilling. Yet, it needs to be admitted that, all that is not without exercising an adverse effect on the environment. (2) In this context, it has to be mentioned that almost all the natural gas drilling companies are now relying on the advanced processes of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In these processes, several wells are drilled at the same spot and water to the extent of five million gallons is used for each well. Here, the disturbing fact is that there are hardly any companies that recycle the water. In fact, at least as of now, the process of hydraulic fracturing does not come under the purview of the Clean Water Act. (2) The various rivers and water bodies that are there in the zones of Marcellus shale add further beauty to the locales. And these very water bodies are being adversely impacted by the huge quantities of used water resulting from drilling operation ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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