Geologists Develop Interactive West Virginia Marcellus Shale Map

The free site could be useful for anyone thinking about leasing property or looking for a job the industry.

The State Journal
21 March 2011
By Mike Krafcik

MORGANTOWN  -- West Virginia geologists have created an interactive online map of Marcellus gas deposits.

"There's so much interest in the Marcellus shale. What is it? Where is it? How deep is it?? How thick is it?" said Mary Behling, West Virginia Geological & Economy Survey.

Those questions and many others about Marcellus shale drilling are answered by the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey's new Marcellus interactive mapping application.

"The industry and land interest are interested. Researchers of all types are interested in what is going on with the Marcellus," Behling said.

Mary Behling is one of the geologists responsible for developing and updating the map. Behling says it depicts the thickness of the Marcellus and lists more than 1,200 completed wells and more than 800 permeated wells.

Information on any given well can include information about who owns it, when a permit was granted and how much energy it produces.

John Bocan, a programmer at the survey, says the interactive map came online almost three months ago and it's already one of the site's most popular features.

It already has received 57,000 hits this month.

"It is right now it is our most popular interactive map to date," he said.

Much of the interest from a variety of sources including landowners, policy makers, and drilling industry reps.

"A lot of times people comment that's it hard to believe government would develop a useful product for people to use," she said.

They say the site is only going to get better, it's currently in the process of being further developed including information on more gas wells.