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By H. Al-Megren

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In addition to the Marcellus Shale, gas production from the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin of Texas is still going strong, as are the Haynesville and Fayetteville shales in Arkansas. The Woodford Shale in the Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma is also being produced. A new shale play getting started is the Utica Shale, an Appalachian Basin black shale that is deeper and older than the Marcellus. The Utica actually covers more land area than the Marcellus, extending farther into the northern, western and eastern reaches of the basin.

Geochemistry plays an important role in the understanding of a natural-gas hydrate system (Paull and Dillon, 2001). It allows the chemical identification of the different materials involved in the hydrate formation as well as the determination of their origin. Such information enables us to constrain the hydrate formation, accumulation and destabilisation processes, and therefore geochemistry contributes to a large part in the description of the system’s dynamics. This chapter is dedicated to the application of a series of geochemical analyses to describe a natural-gas hydrate system located on the Western High, in the Sea of Marmara, offshore Turkey.

Fig. 9. Microseismic-measured height of hydraulic fractures in nearly 400 Marcellus Shale frac stages in numerous wells, plotted against the depth of the deepest freshwater aquifer in each county. For the figure, the fracs were sorted from deepest on the left to shallowest on the right. Data courtesy of Kevin Fisher, used with permission. 5. Conclusions Organic-rich black shales contain significant amounts of energy in the form of natural gas, which may be large enough to make the United States energy independent for the first time since the 1950s, and finally bring to an end the so-called ”energy crisis” of the 1970s.

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