Subject Guides

Marcellus Shale

This research guide provides online, print, and database suggestions to research Marcellus Shale gas drilling.


To find articles, you may want to try searching the database GeoRef . In GeoRef you can use the following subject terms: Marcellus shale, New York, Devonian, black shale, natural gas, or well abandonment. If you need help locating an article please ask the library staff.

To find books and ebooks, use the Library Catalog.  Search for the following keywords: gas drilling, fracking, marcellus shale, devonian shale.  You can also search by "Subject begins with..." for: Shale gas industry, Hydraulic fracturing, Marcellus shale, natural gas, or other related terms.

Environmental Impact Statement Database:
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, an Environmental Impact Statement must be filed when the federal government takes an action that significantly affects the human environment. This database would be useful if you are interested in researching the environmental outcomes of other drilling sites.

FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry:
A national registry for the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.  The site is cooperatively managed by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

A Handful of Sources

Assessment of Undiscovered Natural Gas Resources in Devonian Black Shales, Appalachian Basin, Eastern U.S.A. (2005)
View the report
Devonian shale units, including Marcellus Shale, were assessed for production of trillions of cubic feet of gas (TCFG). The assessment units were defined by the net thickness of black shale, thermal maturity, and stratigraphy. This resource has an extensive references section.

Atlas of Major Appalachian Gas Plays (1996)
Science Library Map Room ATLAS QE78.3 .A8 1996
Provides an overview of the gas producing areas throughout the northeast with some information about wells that have been drilled. There is little information specifically about the Marcellus Shale.

Correlation of the Devonian Rocks in New York State (1964)
Science Library Map Room G3801 .C57 1964 .R5
A map that shows thickness of the Devonian layers, including Marcellus Shale.

Environmentally Safe Drilling Practices (1995)
Science Library TD195 .P4 N394 1995
This book is geared towards drilling industry professionals in the US on how to conduct drilling operations while preserving the environment and complying with related regulations.

Hydraulic Fracturing
A USGS Energy Resources Program web page providing an overview of hydraulic fracturing in the United States.  Take note of the FAQs and Toolbox on the right side of the page, and the multimedia and related links available in the tabs at the top.

Natural Gas in Nontechnical Language (1999)
Science Library TN880 .N2944 1999
This book provides an overview of natural gas including history, exploration, drilling, storage, uses, and the industry.

Nontechnical Guide to Petroleum, Geology, Exploration drilling and Production (2001)
Science Library TN870.5 .H9624 2001
This book covers how oil and gas is formed, how to find commercial quantities, how to drill, evaluate and complete a well including production and improved oil recovery.

Research Guide to the Marcellus and Utica Shales

Created by the Carnegie Mellon and PA State Association of Boroughs, a comprehensive bibliography of over 1,200 sources about the debated energy, economic, and environmental impacts of natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing of shale rock formations.

Local Links

The Friendsville Group
The web site was created to provide landowners with information about oil and gas leases. Pay special attention to their Gas Lease Information Links web page:

Museum of the Earth: Marcellus Shale
Explains marcellus shale, why gas companies are interested in it, and the drilling/extracting process in a non-technical way.

Penn State Natural Gas Resource Development Program
This wiki was created by the Penn State Cooperative Extension in response to landowner questions about leasing land. A Natural Gas Exploration and Leasing Team was assembled to provide the general public with answers to their questions. Informational programs are offered throughout Pennsylvania.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Mineral Resources:

DEC's "Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil and Gas Solution Mining Regulatory Program" (SGEIS)
-Summary of the Marcellus Shale formation
-Earlier GEIS from 1988 and 1992
-Final Scope 2009 document
-Draft SGEIS documents and methods for making comments until Nov. 30, 2009

Sierra Club Susquehanna Group
The Sierra Club Susquehanna Group has created a Marcellus Shale Gas Drillling web page:

Regional Environmental Advocacy Groups

Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition

Catskill Mountainkeeper

Damascus Citizens for Sustainability

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Subject Librarian

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Elizabeth Brown
LS2504C Glenn G Bartle Library
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