Let's TALK Natural Gas History

On Monday, August 27, 2012 0 comments

We know where we are today -- in a drilling boom, but how did we get here? Let's explore a brief history of natural gas.

Did you know, the Chinese used gas from shallow wells to burn it under large pans and evaporate seawater for salt?  In fact, ancient cultures (pre-1800's) discovered natural gas and were mystified by it's presence.

(Fun Fact: Raw natural gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless so it wasn't until modern time that natural gas companies addded a chemical to natural gas to give it the smell of "rotten eggs" so it could be detected).

Fastforward to 1821...

Fredonia, NY - The first successful natural gas well was dug.

Fastforward to 1958 - same town... Fredonia Gas Light Company began America's first natural gas company.

Hard to believe that in 2012... Natural gas accounts for 24% of the energy we use in the United States. Coal accounts for 23%.

How does Natural Gas Form? Scientists believe that natural gas was formed from the remains of tiny sea animals and plants that died nearly 400 million years old... this is why natural gas is generally considered a non-renewable resource.  The sea animals and plants would sink to the bottom of the oceans and buried under layers of sediment, that eventually turned into rock. Over millions of years, scientists believe that the rock which was thousands of layers thick subjected the remains to enormous pressure. It is predicted that the pressure and heat combined changed the remains into pertroleum and natural gas.

All Signs Point to Marcellus Boom Still Going Strong

On Friday, August 24, 2012 0 comments

 Natural gas production Pennsylvania has doubled in the past year despite facing low market prices and a new tax on the industry.

The Department of Environmental Protection released figured that were quite impressive and surprising to some. Drillers operating in PA, extracted 895 billion cubic feet of gas during the first half of 2012.

According to watchdog.com "More than 2,700 actively producing Marcellus shale gas wells exist in Pennsylvania, with the highest concentration in Washington and Greene counties in the state’s southwest corner and Tioga, Susquehanna and Bradford counties along the northern tier, according to DEP.

At the midpoint of 2011, about 1,600 wells were producing gas in the commonwealth, a figure that climbed to more than 2,200 by the end of last year.

Mark Szybist, a staff attorney for PennFuture, an environmental organization here, said celebrating increased production should include a thorough review of the environmental impact of the industry.
“It would be nice if DEP tracked environmental consequences as much as they do the production itself,” Szybuist said. “It seems premature to assess what this production means without looking at those costs.”

Sunday said the department commissioned a yearlong study of emissions from natural gas compressor stations in Washington County, which began at the end of July.

The department also required all drillers in the state to submit emissions data for 2011. Sunday said that data would be available before the end of the year.

Read the entire article published by Watchdog.com.

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