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Energy Field Infrastructure

Pennsylvania — a boom in US shale oil production reaches the Marcellus Formation Appalachian Basin, and brings road maintenance and upgrade challenges to local authorities along with it.

What are the Remedies?

All roadways affected by the use of heavy hauling traffic and equipment hauling in and around a natural gas well drilling platform would be addressed by the gas industry. In most cases state highways are being re-built because of the deteriorated roadway through the use of this traffic. In Pennsylvania, Act 13 made its debut a year ago, it provided revenues to help local governments manage the impacts of Pennsylvania's billion dollar natural gas industry. Act 13 also introduced provisions that address public safety, environmental protection, and industry accountability. If you're municipal roadway has been impacted by the natural gas industry and the need to make that roadway a passable and safe highway again you need only to contact E.J. Breneman, and one of it's marketing representatives will visit your municipality, view the affected roadway and make recommendations to you to re-build that roadway to you're satisfaction.

What are the Benefits and Detriments of Marcellus Shale?

There are many benefits for Marcellus Shale from the exploration and drilling for Natural Gas. The gas shale industry is responsible for the creation of thousands of jobs and the reduction of dependence in the United States on foreign oil. In the immediate area of Natural Gas drilling, the unemployment rate has shrank as people are hired by the industry to fulfill jobs on drilling platforms, pipe laying, rebuilding roadways funded by the gas industry, new hotels to house the thousands of new employees, equipment dealers selling specialized equipment for the industry, restaurants and country stores servicing the large work force. In the future, Natural Gas will reduce our dependence on foreign energy and this new found energy will be cost effective for sustaining our needs for many years.

In most cases, the drilling for natural Gas has its detriments. Roadways that once carried farm to market traffic and the occasional school bus became rutted and impassable to private vehicles.

What is Marcellus Shale?

Marcellus Shale comes from the Marcellus Subgroup of Hamilton Group of the Romney Formation, or simply it is a unit of marine sedimentary rock found in eastern North America. It is named for a distinctive outcrop near the village of Marcellus, New York State. It extends throughout much of the Appalachian Basin but, mostly exists in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio. The shale contains largely untapped natural gas reserves, and its proximity to the high-demand markets along the East Coast of the United States makes it an attractive target for energy development.

Stratigraphically, the Marcellus is the lowest unit of the Devonian age Hamilton Group, and is divided into several sub-units. Although black shale is the dominant lithology, it also contains lighter shales and interbedded limestone layers due to sea level variation during its deposition almost 400 million years ago.

How do we Extract Shale Gas?

Prior to the 1973 energy crisis and the ensuing energy shortages, the industry was aware there was gas in Marcellus - it occurred in "pockets" and flows could not be sustained. These gas flows died down quickly, and the drillers soon began to ignore them when they encountered them. The consensus was that there was not enough to make a well. The U.S. Department of Energy began to fund the Eastern Gas Shale Project (EGSP) during the 1980's. A technique called a "slick-water frac"; (hydraulic fracturing) was improved in the 1990's during the process of developing the Barnett Shale a geological formation located in the Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin. Technological improvements and hydraulic fracturing-pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into wells at high pressure to open cracks in a reservoir, continued to make the extraction of unconventional natural gas financially viable. When a site has been selected and all documents and permits approved, a water source is located. In many cases a small reservoir is built and lined. Tankers then fill the reservoir to capacity. When the drilling operation is ready for the "fracing" operation, tankers once again go to the reservoir and pull water from it to be delivered to the well head. This operation will put a great stress on any state or municipality road, failures within the infrastructure are always expected.

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