What is the Marcellus Shale?

About 390 million years ago, about 90,000 square miles of rich, black shale – fine grains of sedimentary rock containing large quantities of natural gas – were deposited deep beneath the Appalachian basin and most of Pennsylvania. The Shale ranges in thickness from less than 20 feet to several hundred feet in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. New, more economical drilling technologies — and a concentration of skilled workers in areas around the shale — have opened the Marcellus Shale as a source of natural gas, jumpstarting the United States’ domestic energy industry.

Next Topic