The Marcellus Shale formation is located in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. This land is very popular because of its tight, deep shale formations which have the potential to hold a lot of natural gas. The Marcellus Shale is large and covers a widespread amount of land area in the Northeastern United States. Researchers say that there is a potential for the Marcellus Shale formation to hold around 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in its shale deposits deep beneath the earth’s surface. The most controversial element of drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale is the use of hydraulic fracturing. In this process large pumps are hooked up to the newly drilled well and thousands of gallons of water and chemicals are pumped into the shale formation several thousand feet below the surface. This breaks apart the hard rock, creating fissures from which the shale gas is released. Because of these safety issues I believe that we should not drill into the Marcellus Shale formation in Western New York.
In addition to the need for large quantities of water needed to do a frack job, it is controversial. In rare cases, when proper cementing procedures are not followed, frac fluid, which is a mixture of water and chemicals such as acids, can migrate or be forced into groundwater. (Baker, 2001) In most situations, the groundwater lies from zero to one thousand feet deep, while the natural gas bearing formation lies at several thousand feet. In the case of the Marcellus Shale the gas is not that far in the ground, so to extract the gas the people fracking will be in danger of contaminating the groundwater. In New York the issue has raised particular concern because part of the Marcellus Shale lies underneath the city’s drinking water supply, not to mention the contiguous forests of the Catskill Mountains and many upstate counties. Aside from the chemicals used, the building of roads, heavy truck traffic, the installation of drill pads, and the...
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