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Although signing bonuses generate an enormous amount of interest because they are guaranteed income, royalties can
be significantly higher. A royalty is a share of a well's income. The customary royalty rate is 12.5 percent of the value of gas produced by a well. Higher
royalty rates are sometimes paid by aggressive buyers for highly desirable properties.
York and West Virginia could temporarily have an enormous boost in income that might be sustained for a few decades.
Natural Gas Drilling Activity
Chesapeake Energy, Chief Oil & Gas, East Resources , Fortuna Energy, Equitable Production Company, Cabot Oil &
Gas Corporation, Southwestern Energy Production Company, and Atlas Energy Resources are some of the companies
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reports that the number of drilled wells in the Marcellus
Shale has been increasing rapidly. In 2007 only 27 Marcellus Shale wells were drilled in the state, however, in 2010 the
number of wells drilled had risen to 1386. Many of these wells will yield millions of cubic feet of natural gas per day in
their first year. However, the yield of individual wells usually fall rapidly over the next few years.
profitable quantities of gas for decades. It is also possible that many wells will be refractured in the future with
improved technologies. The same drilling pad might be reused in the future to drill multiple horizontal wells in different directions. Marcellus Shale drilling pads have many future options.
Pipelines and Right-of-Ways
gas. However, most of the leased properties are not adjacent to a natural gas pipeline. The total natural gas pipeline
capacity currently available is a tiny fraction of what will be needed. Several new pipelines must be built to transport
millions of cubic feet of natural gas per\day to major markets. In addition, thousands of miles of natural gas gathering
systems must be built to connect individual wells to the major pipelines. Many property owners will be asked to sign
right-of-way agreements that will allow natural gas pipelines and
gathering systems to be built across their land. It the property owner is not associated with the gas production there
could be compensation for granting the right-of-way.Payments could be as low as a few dollars per linear foot in rural
areas to over $100 per foot in urban areas.
The Utica Shale Below the Marcellus
shown that it can be of commercial value. A generalized cross-section showing the relative positions of the Marcellus
Shale and the Utica Shale is shown in the right column. When the yield of Marcellus Shale wells start to decline, new
wells might be drilled down to the Utica to continue a stream of natural gas production. Drilling for the Utica will be
more expensive because of the greater depth, however, the infrastructure of drill pads,right-of-ways, pipelines, permit
data and other investments will reduce development costs for Utica Shale wells.
Other Gas Shales in the United States
drilling and hydrofracing technologies were perfected for shale reservoirs a few years ago in the Barnett Shale of Texas. The technology was then applied in other areas such as the Fayetteville Shale of northcentral Arkansas, the Haynesville Shale of northwestern Louisiana, and the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachians. These are just a few of several unconventional gas plays now happening in the United States and Canada. Similar organic shale deposits in other parts of the world might also produce gas as use of the new technologies spread.
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