Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Meeting

The Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Committee met for the tenth time this past Monday. Here is an excellent article on the meeting from Appalachian IndependentGovernor O’Malley’s Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Meets For The Tenth Time



Last night at Garrett Community College, about 300 Maryland citizens attended a public meeting of the Commission that was formed under the auspices of Governor O’Malley and whose purpose is “to assist State policymakers and regulators in determining whether and how gas production from the Marcellus shale in Maryland can be accomplished without unacceptable risks of adverse impacts to public health, safety, the environment, and natural resources.”

This was the tenth time for the Commission to meet, but the first time that a meeting was held in the evening in Garrett County, thus accounting for the large turnout.  (For complete information on all of the activities of the Commission, you can go to

After the members of the Commission introduced themselves, an overview was presented which discussed the geology of the Marcellus shale and the process that goes into drilling the shale. An explanation was presented to the audience on the technology of the actual drilling, with slides providing a primer on vertical and horizontal drilling, as well as installment of casing for the vertical portion of the pipes, and the fracturing process in the horizontal pipes.  For more detail of this, please refer to a recent appindie article entitled, “Friends of Deep Creek Lake are no Friends of Fracking.”

New information noted that may be of interest includes the fact that there are currently nine active gas wells in Maryland, with 90 inactive wells that are being used for storage.  The high-volume, high pressure solute that is used in fracking is composed of about 90% water, 8-9% sand, and ½ – 1% chemicals.  About one million gallons of water are used per 1000 feet of fracking (to put that in perspective, 4000 feet of fracking would use four million gallons of water, which is about the same amount of water used each day by the city of Baltimore).  Most of the gas that is located in Maryland is of the “dry” variety and the least valuable of the shale deposits…

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