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Here’s everything anyone wanted to know about Marcellus and Utica shales from Penn State:

http://www.marcellus.psu.edu/index.php

Not much of the Marcellus shale is beneath Maryland. Mostly just the western panhandle. The depth to the formation is pretty deep. Unlike New York, where it’s pretty shallow. The Utica formation sits below the Marcellus and extends further into Maryland.

I guess it’s good be on the safe side. A big concern I have is when the shale formation is relatively shallow and not too far from drinking water aquifers. If only we spent the last ten or so years truly investigating environmental impact shale oil and gas exploitation may pose. Instead of doing environmental regulatory workarounds, forcing a loose band of environmentalists and NGOs to chase oil and gas around as the go forward with exploitation. Oh, those pesky environmental regulations. It appears that the oil and gas biz felt it best to avoid things like subsurface characterization for impact of their operations on the environment. I can see why — its was banks, consultants, O&G cowboys, and landmen in charge up front. Geology and hydrogeology are really hard subjects, when you just got a business degree.

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