ST. MARYS, W.Va. - St. Marys-based company Trans Energy announced Monday it has begun drilling its seventh natural gas well in the Marcellus shale, a geological formation nearly a mile below the earth running from New York through the Appalachian region.
In a press release, President of Trans Energy John Corp said the well, Lucey No.1H, will be completed horizontally in Marshall County.
"Trans Energy continues to move to a development phase from an exploration phase as it develops its acreage position in northern West Virginia," Corp stated in a press release.
Natural gas and oil are extracted from the shale through a process called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." Crews drill horizontal shafts, then force large quantities of water, sand and chemicals into the shale, fracturing the structure and causing the gas and oil to rise.
In July 2010, Trans Energy, an oil and gas exploration and development company, announced its plans to drill five additional horizontal wells in the shale, three of which were completed in 2010.
Critics of the process have expressed concerns ranging from the state of country roads to the impact on local water tables.
At a glance
St. Marys company Trans Energy announced Monday it has begun drilling its seventh natural gas well in the Marcellus shale.
* Natural gas is extracted using a process called hydraulic fracturing, which has drawn some opposition.
* The Marcellus shale is a geological formation running from New York through the Appalachian region.
The shale can contain toxic substances, from radon to chemicals found in antifreeze. The process requires huge amounts of water and sand, and some critics fear the process can taint underground water supplies.
Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, spoke to the Parkersburg Rotary Club in October about the financial and economic growth the Marcellus shale represented for the state of West Virginia. Kessler told Rotary Club members he and other legislators were working on safety measures for drilling vehicles and economic plans to set aside money from the drill sites to create a "future fund - for West Virginia residents.
Trans Energy also announced Monday the completion of two wells.
"We now have both the Groves No.1H and the Keaton No.1H wells drilled and behind pipe and have secured frac dates in February and March for these two wells," Corp said in a press release.