Natural gas is an efficient, clean-burning fuel source frequently used for power generation, as well as residential, industrial and commercial uses. The abundant reserves in the Appalachian Basin provide a reliable domestic fuel source with significant positive effects on jobs and our nation's economic prosperity, competitiveness and security. EQT has a world-class asset base in the Appalachian Basin and is the largest producer of natural gas in the United States.
Marcellus & Utica Shale
The Marcellus Shale is organically rich shale that lies nearly a mile or more beneath the surface throughout much of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia. With over one million gross acres and approximately 18.0 trillion cubic feet of proved reserves in the Marcellus play as of December 31, 2020, EQT is a leading developer in the Marcellus Shale.
The Utica Shale is a shale formation that lies a few thousand feet below the Marcellus Shale and is considered to be an abundant source of natural gas and oil. EQT began exploring the Utica Shale in 2015 when EQT drilled its first Utica well in Greene County, Pennsylvania – the record-breaking Scotts Run well, which produced 72.9 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in a 24-hour period. EQT operates Utica wells throughout its Ohio acreage and as of December 31, 2020, had approximately 0.9 trillion cubic feet of proved Ohio Utica reserves.
EQT owns or leases approximately 610,000 net acres in Pennsylvania. Most of the acreage is located in the southwestern region of the state, with the majority located in Greene and Washington Counties. EQT is actively developing the Marcellus Shale and Upper Devonian Shale in this area.
EQT owns or leases approximately 405,000 net acres in West Virginia. Most of the acreage is located in the northwestern region of the state, with the majority located in Doddridge, Marion, Tyler and Wetzel Counties. EQT is actively developing the Marcellus Shale and Upper Devonian Shale in this area.
EQT owns or leases approximately 65,000 net acres in eastern Ohio, and is actively developing the Utica Shale in Belmont County.
(Data as of December 31, 2019)
Horizontal Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing
Horizontal drilling has become standard in the natural gas industry. The technology allows operators to access previously unattainable pockets of natural gas reserves in underground shale beds. Conventional vertical drilling techniques have been unable to recover these reserves effectively or economically, but horizontal drilling technology allows for the recovery of much more natural gas from fewer wells. This saves time, energy and money, and it reduces potential impacts to the environment.
Hydraulic fracturing is a technology used to extract natural gas trapped within subsurface rock formations. Natural gas producers have used this process for decades. Current drilling and casing technology and standards enable producers to utilize the process safely and in a manner that is protective to groundwater. EQT conducts hydraulic fracturing in accordance with state regulations using water recycled from previously fractured wells or obtained from freshwater sources. This water is mixed with sand and a small percentage (less than 0.3%) of chemicals to create a fracturing fluid which is injected into the well at high pressure.
The wells themselves are triple-cased with cement and steel and are designed to ensure that there is no impact to drinking water.
The pressure from the injected fracturing fluid opens and expands fractures in the targeted rock formation, and the sand from the fluid holds the fractures open allowing natural gas to flow to the wellhead. The hydraulically fractured formations are on average more than 6,000 feet below any freshwater zone.
EQT is committed to operational transparency and was one of the first natural gas producers in Appalachia to voluntarily disclose the actual content of the hydraulic fracturing fluid used at each of its well sites. A summary of the chemicals used by the industry in this process, including their approximate quantities, are available for review on the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
EQT is also a voluntary, charter participant on FracFocus.org, an independent educational website created by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. The website, recognized as the industry standard, provides information to help the public understand the additives in the water being used for natural gas development in their own communities.