Interactive Marcellus Shale Map Created, Posted Online

Charleston Gazette
11 March 2011
By The Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Geologists have created an interactive online map of the Marcellus Shale field and its natural gas deposits to accommodate growing public interest in West Virginia gas drilling.

It could be useful for anyone thinking about leasing their property or seeking a job in the industry, said Susan Pool of the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey in Morgantown.

Natural gas companies are rushing to tap the vast deposits underlying West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.

Legislators, meanwhile, are wrangling over how to best regulate and monitor the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies such wells require.

The map shows completed and permitted well sites, thickness and depth of shale, and other information. It also has a list of frequently asked questions.

Employees told West Virginia Public Broadcasting the map has quickly become one of their website's most popular features.

Mary Behling, head of the information services program, said the staff has been receiving e-mails from landowners, industry representatives, government officials and others.

"Most of the feedback we get is extremely positive," she said. "People are surprised that so much is available, free, and the information is diverse and usually exactly what they're looking for."

She said the map should be updated monthly.

You can access the map through a link at: