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Investors looking for opportunities in the energy sector are watching a giant in the natural gas production industry, specifically the Marcellus Shale. This 104,000 square mile expanse that reaches through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia is making headlines in natural gas news by taking the lead in production in the U.S. and Canada.
According to analysts at Moody's, surges in production by companies who are members or affiliates of the Marcellus Shale Coalition are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The report further states that these companies stand to prosper even if prices were to drop to levels seen in 2012.
This is good news for investors, economists, and industries that rely on economical, plentiful energy sources.
By making use of a relatively new drilling technique known as "horizontal drilling" or "fracking," natural gas stores found within the shale deposits of the Marcellus can be harvested with minimal impact to the surrounding environment.
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This projected growth is based on more than conjecture. Technological advances and innovations have been utilized to boost production from 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2007 to current levels of 14 bcfd. Further estimates project levels to reach 20 bcfd by the year 2020.
It is projected that within the next year, Marcellus will provide at least one-fourth of the nation's supply of natural gas.
Additionally, areas in and along the Marcellus Shale are reaping the benefits that come from all the new jobs..
But the recent Marcellus Shale natural gas news sounds ripe with opportunities for companies – and their investors – that go beyond U.S. borders…
International Opportunities in Natural Gas News
The U.S. isn't the only nation benefiting from the economic growth of the Marcellus Shale. With an estimated 30 to 75 years' worth of natural gas reserves contained within the region, the U.S. can profit from its bounty with other nations.
In recent natural gas news reported by Bizjournals.com, an Energy Innovation Summit was held in Pittsburgh, Pa. in which Canadian Consulate General John F. Prato applauded the innovations of the Marcellus Shale. Prato noted that one-third of Ontario's natural gas supply is provided by Marcellus.
During a panel discussion held at the Summit, NOVA Chemicals Corp. vice president of corporate strategy John Hotz affirmed the importance of shale gas from the Marcellus in his company's operations.
Hotz noted that his company, which is based out of Alberta, began facing problems with crisis potential a few years ago. Natural gas supplies within the area began to drop, while prices of crude oil began to soar. As the aforementioned process called "horizontal drilling" and "fracking" became known to Nova management, the company decided to take a serious look at how this new energy source could benefit their bottom line.
Investor Takeaway from the Latest Natural Gas News
The growth in production within Marcellus is taking the lead in natural gas news. With additional export opportunities opening overseas – especially as European countries look to help ease dependence on Russian natural gas supplies for Ukraine – demand is strong.
The means used for transporting the natural gas overseas may pose a challenge. But, as one industry leader noted, "Challenge equals opportunity."
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- National Geographic Daily News
- NorthCentral PA.com