The Center Square recently highlighted the growing importance of the Shale Crescent region in meeting our nation’s natural gas needs. Thanks to significant technological advances in drilling and delivery, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania have been able to produce a record amount of natural gas in recent years. In fact, these three states combined produce more natural gas than Texas, and from 2008 to 2018, 85 percent of all natural gas growth in the U.S. came from these three states due to the shale boom in the Marcellus and Utica formations. If the three states were a country, they would be the world’s third-largest natural gas producer behind the U.S. and Russia.
In addition, according to economic development initiative Shale Crescent USA, the region is a commonsense location for petrochemical plants because it is one of the “few global locations where the natural gas is located in the same area as the manufacturing plants and end-use consumers.” The article notes the Shale Crescent region saw growth after Shell’s $6 billion cracker plant began construction in western Pennsylvania. Such investment creates thousands of jobs, new streams of tax revenue, and new economic opportunities for the surrounding communities.
Regarding future natural gas production, the article paints a bright future for the region:
According to a recent U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Natural Gas Liquids Primer update, surging production of natural gas in the Appalachian Basin is expected to quadruple total eastern U.S. production from 2013 levels by 2050, and NGL production is expected to increase by more than 700 percent by 2023.
This boom in production has created a renewed importance on reliable energy infrastructure in the region. Pipeline projects like the Mariner East system, Rover, and Atlantic Coast are key to safely and efficiently transporting natural gas to consumer markets. Modern pipelines are carefully studied by federal and state regulators before receiving the necessary permits, and are the safest and most environmentally-conscious method of delivering the energy that Americans rely on each and every day.