New Natural Gas Site Locating in the Marcellus Shale Region PA


New Natural Gas Site Locating in the Marcellus Shale Region PA




Natural gas is an important resource for many various reasons. In the current study, I aim to identify the best suited location for a new well using various factors and restraints. This resource is stored thousands of feet beneath the Earth’s surface, specifically in shale bearing layers. One shale unit in particular, the Middle Devonian Marcellus Formation, is of particular interest. It extends approximately six-hundred miles, covering large areas of the Appalachian Basin including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and New York. The area underlain by the Marcellus Formation is nearly 240,000 square kilometers (Kargbo et. al., 2010). However, most of the natural gas is located underneath Pennsylvanian land and therefore this state will be the focus of the study. Recent advancements in the extraction of this resource have led to an exponential increase in this industry. New techniques known as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have greatly influenced the efficiency of the process and therefore economic prosperity. Just in Pennsylvania alone, 2008 estimates show the creation of more than 29,000 jobs and $2.3 billion dollars in revenue (Kargbo et. al 2010). A previous study by Meng (2014) revealed significant landscape variables as driving mechanisms in well-site location. Higher elevation and wetlands were shown to be the most prone to natural gas sites while steeper slopes were correlated with lower probabilities. I will apply his findings and the use of GIS techiniques to identify the most suitable location for a new fracking site. For each of the variables, a suitability layer will be created. Once all of these layers are created, they will be combined in order to acquire an overall suitability score to determine the best suited location.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Shuang-Ye Wu

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster


Presenter: Ryan P Young

New Natural Gas Site Locating in the Marcellus Shale Region PA