Pryor said that in recent years, a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has enabled the energy industry to access and produce unconventional gas economically. According to Pryor, hydraulic fracturing has been used safely and effectively for more than 60 years in more than 1 million wells.
Development of natural gas from Marcellus shale resources supports nearly 140,000 jobs in Pennsylvania and accounted for almost all of the growth in Pennsylvania’s economy in 2010, he said.
According to Pryor, the shale gas industry supported 1 million direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. in 2010, and oil and gas production created almost one in every 10 new jobs last year. He said that jobs associated with shale development are expected to more than double by 2035.
Pryor also said that lower natural gas prices from increased supply are fueling a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. For example, ExxonMobil Chemical is developing plans for a major expansion of its Gulf Coast manufacturing facilities “to produce leading-edge products from natural gas feedstocks.”
ExxonMobil senior scientist Jack Neal, who has spent years analyzing hydrocarbon source rocks around the world and looking at operations to produce it, then discussed the details of shale gas production operations and key issues involving them.