2 How Does Natural Gas Form? Natural gas forms over millions of years from the decomposition, deep burial, intense pressure, and heat of organic (plant and animal) matter. It is contained in rock formations such as shale. Shale is plentiful in Pennsylvania.
3 Why Use Natural Gas?Natural gas is used as a fuel for heating, cooking, electricity generation, industry and in the production of synthetic materials such as paint, fertilizer, plastic, antifreeze, and more. Although the burning of natural gas produces carbon dioxide, it is considered a much cleaner fossil fuel than coal or petroleum. Slightly more than half of the homes in the United States use natural gas as their main heating fuel.
4 What is Shale?Shale is a sedimentary rock. It forms in thick slab layers from accumulated deposits of sand, clay, shells and often organic matter in bodies of water. Shale is finely grained and can act as a barrier for trapping petroleum and natural gas reservoirs. In addition, the shale rock itself can contain natural gas in rock fractures and pore spaces
5 Where Can We Find Shale in PA? A large deposit of shale covers 2/3 of the state of Pennsylvania, as well as parts of New York, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. This shale formation, known as Marcellus Shale, was deposited over 350 million years ago in a shallow inland sea located in the eastern United States where the present-day Appalachian Mountains now stand. Shale is an exceptional energy resource for natural gas because it is rich in organic content.
6 The shale covers more than two-thirds of Pennsylvania The shale covers more than two-thirds of Pennsylvania. Look at the next slide to help you decide what region of the state has the most natural gas? How many regions of PA contain natural gas?
8 The shale has a depth from surface level to more than a mile below ground.
9 A Cross-Section of the Earth in Pennsylvania This cross-section of the Earth in PA shows more than just the soil profile.Continue past the topsoil, subsoil and weathered rock, and through the aquifer (water table) and you reach various deposits of solid rock. Travel another 2,000 – 3,000 feet down and you will finally reach the shale that contains deposits of natural gas.
10 How Is Natural Gas Extracted? Hydraulic fracturing is used to extract gas. This process forces the gas into the well (pipe) and up to the surface where it is stored.
11 Shale Locations in PA Shale is located in the following counties of Pennsylvania: Allegheny County PAArmstrong County PABeaver County PABedford County PABlair County PABradford County PAButler County PACambria County PACameron County PASomerset County PASusquehanna County PATioga County PAVenango County PAWarren County PAWashington County PAWayne County PAWestmoreland County PAJefferson County PALawrence County PALuzerne County PAMcKean County PAMercer County PAPike County PAPotter County PACarbon County PACentre County PAClearfield County PAClinton County PACrawford County PAElk County PAFayette County PAForest County PAGreene County PAIndiana County PA
12 A natural gas drilling tower, seen from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.