West Virginia is in a unique position to take advantage of hydraulic fracturing to access the Marcellus Shale gas. The Marcellus dips well into the interior of our mountains, and our chemical industry infrastructure is just waiting to be put to work! So, when I saw this article I wanted to share it.
According to the piece:
U.S. production of natural gas is at an all-time high, approximately 70 Bcf/d (billion cubic feet per day), and reserves have increased similarly. The United States surpassed Russia as the world’s number-one natural gas producer in 2009, and today has at least a 200-year supply at present demand levels. U.S. production of crude oil reached 9.5 million bbl/d (barrels per day) in 2014 and will soon pass the peak of the early 1970s. And, the United States will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s number-one producer of crude oil in the next few years.
This seemingly exhaustive article focuses heavily on Texas oil fields and infrastructure. West Virginia also has rail, truck, and barge access, although on a smaller scale. With proper management, fracking can provide a bit of diversity for a state heavily dependent on coal production, the downstream industry, and economic support it gives local communities.