Fuel Fix Blog: The Marcellus region is now the biggest natural gas shale play in the world, and there’s still about $90 billion to be made by tapping the area’s reserves, according to a study by energy analyst group Wood Mackenzie.
The Marcellus, which stretches from New York to West Virginia, produced about 15.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in August, about 38 percent of total U.S. natural gas production for the month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency doesn’t expect the boom to taper off anytime soon, and several of the biggest companies are cashing in.
Wood Mackenzie predicted that the top 20 operators in the Marcellus will earn nearly $86 billion over the life of the play after the costs of reaching the reserves. Among the 20 largest operators are Fort Worth-based Range Resources Corp., Pittsburgh’s EQT Corp., Houston’s Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and Denver-based Antero Resources.
For comparison, Wood Mackenzie estimated that there’s about $118 billion to be made by extracting the resources in North Dakota’s Bakken region — but most production there is higher-priced oil compared to the natural gas dominant in the Marcellus.