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Gas companies eager to tap Marcellus Shale

Cracking the Marcellus Shale to gather natural gas has exploration-production companies competing to acquire each other to lease and/or purchase acreage, industry watchers said.

This rush to develop the Marcellus region, which has an abundance of the fossil fuel 6,000 feet below much of the state, could lead to an influx of new companies in Western Pennsylvania to take advantage of low-cost energy and a boom in blue-collar jobs, the experts said.

"This region will become self-sufficient in terms of energy. There’s enough natural gas in the Marcellus to power this state for 180 years," said Kent Moors, director of Duquesne University’s Energy Policy Research Group.

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