Shale-gas webinar series kicks off July 18 with an open forum

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – An open forum on natural-gas development from deep shale formations will be presented in a Web-based seminar by Penn State Extension.

The session, from 1 to 2 p.m. on July 18, will kick off a series of webinars covering current issues associated with shale gas in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Extension educators Jim Ladlee, Dan Brockett, Matt Henderson and Dave Messersmith -- part of Penn State Extension's Marcellus Education Team -- will start the open forum by covering hot topics and then respond to questions from the public about shale-gas development.

Those inquiries will come from webinar participants during the session or will have been submitted by email prior to the workshop.

"The July 18 webinar will provide insight into new technology and science used by the industry in shale-gas development, what it means for landowners and the public, business and job growth trends, and county production figures," said Henderson.

He said questions about shale-gas development can be emailed to prior to the July 18 webinar. "Questions may be submitted during the session, but we would like to have the opportunity to provide more in-depth answers."

Technology has improved since the start of the Marcellus play in Pennsylvania, as companies can now drill longer laterals faster and more efficiently, according to Henderson.

"We will discuss how the rig count has dropped and stayed lower in Pennsylvania, but now companies are able to drill more with a smaller surface footprint," he explained. "This also has improved the gas-recovery rates, which translates into higher royalty payments to landowners."

Also to be covered in the session are Utica Shale development and seismic exploration, pipeline construction and related leasing activity in southwestern Pennsylvania, current production and utilization figures, and business development and related job-growth trends.

Upcoming webinars will cover the following topics:

--Aug. 22: Pennsylvania Production Figures.

--Sept. 19: Marcellus Reserves and Estimates Substantiated by Production Data.

--Oct. 17: Midstream Operations, Infrastructure and Market Demands.

--Nov. 21: Topic to be announced.

--Dec. 19: Bradford County Community of Planning:  Resources for the Community.

Webinars will run from 1 to 2 p.m., with time for questions and answers.

Registration is not necessary, and all are welcome to participate by logging in to the website.  For more information, contact Carol Loveland at

Previous webinars, publications and information about shale-gas development are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website, covering topics such as Utica reservoirs; Act 13; shale-gas migration; water use and quality; zoning; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; gas pipelines and right-of-way issues; legal issues surrounding gas development; and the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015