The Great Shale Gas Rush
- National Geographic
U.S. energy industry innovators unlocked the natural gas found in deep shale rock by combining and super-charging old oil industry techniques.
Pennsylvania sits atop one of the world’s largest natural gas reservoirs, promising clean energy and new jobs. But can this resource be extracted sustainably?
Mapping a Gas Boom
Drillers have etched a growing mark on Pennsylvania since first producing natural gas out of its shale rock. Fifteen producing wells are in state forests, and seismic surveyors are eyeing state parks. The map and graph show the growth of shale wells in Pennsylvania from January 2007 to September 2010.
Forcing Gas Out of Rock With Water
Flares from newly completed natural gas wells paint an arresting image—a controlled test burn-off of initial gas. But the real drama takes place a mile beneath the surface.