Exploring Shale: The Quest For Natural Gas
A drilling crew move a section of steel pipe at a natural gas well site near Bradford, Pennsylvania.
There is almost a century's worth of natural gas in shale rock formations all over the county, enough to make a significant change in the debate about America's energy future. But as Congress moves toward writing a new national energy policy, natural gas lobbyists have been mostly missing in action.
September 23, 2009 As the practice of harvesting natural gas embedded in shale rock deep below the Earth's surface has expanded, it has raised concerns about the impact this type of drilling has on the environment — especially on groundwater. At issue is the practice of "hydraulic fracturing."
September 22, 2009 New drilling techniques make it possible to extract natural gas from deep shale rock formations. The advances mean the United States has more abundant natural gas resources than previously believed. Gas advocates say it could significantly alter the future U.S. energy picture.
September 23, 2009 The U.S. natural gas business is dominated by small, independent companies averaging a dozen employees each. But business is booming and estimates of accessible natural gas reserves in the U.S. are growing. As a result, huge companies like Exxon Mobil are taking a second look.
September 22, 2009 For many years, natural gas companies have been producing the fuel from "conventional" gas reservoirs, relatively close to the surface and easily accessible. New shale gas production techniques have opened much wider areas for exploration, including the Marcellus area in Pennsylvania and the Barnett and Haynesville areas in Texas.
May 27, 2009 Environmentalists and the natural gas industry are getting ready for a battle in Congress over "fracking," which involves injecting water and chemicals underground to pry out gas. Environmentalists want the federal government to regulate the practice because, in some cases, fracking may be harming nearby water wells.