Recoverable U.S. gas reserves could now be bigger than the immense gas reserves of Russia, some experts say. The Marcellus shale formation, stretching across swaths of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, has enough gas to meet the entire nation’s needs for at least 14 years, according to an estimate by two Pennsylvania State University experts. Just in Broome County, N.Y., where Fitzsimmons lives, shale gas development could create $15 billion in economic activity, according to consultants hired by the county.
The country is carpeted with shale gas plays, including the Barnett in Texas, Fayetteville in Arkansas and Haynesville in Louisiana. Since 2000, gas from shale has grown from less than 1 percent of the nation’s production to about 10 percent, according to the consulting firm PFC Energy, and it’s picking up fast.