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Maryland’s natural gas value: $5.9 billion to $49 billion

CUMBERLAND — A study of natural reserves in western Maryland puts the prospective lifetime value at $5.9 billion to $49.1 billion.

University of Maryland Extension workers who crunched the numbers said Friday that Garrett County has about twice the production potential of neighboring Allegany County.

The study was done to educate public officials and private citizens about untapped reserves of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, a mineral-rich geological formation that extends from New York to Virginia.

Two drilling companies are seeking permits to extract the gas through a hotly debated process called hydraulic fracturing.

The estimates are based on today’s natural gas prices. They don’t include gas reserves on state-owned land.

One comment

  1. No. Absolutely not. There is no way that a cash-strapped state like Maryland with huge deficits and chronic unemployment and businesses fleeing to Virginia can afford to tap into billions of dollars worth of natural gas. Just because North Dakota is experiencing a huge economic boom with the lowest rate of unemployment using this type of drilling (for oil) is no reason to imitate that type of success. Far better to find new, clever taxes on food sales, liquor sales, gasoline, beverages, business assets, homes and cars. Maryland families are not sacrificing enough as it is.

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