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Marcellus Shale gas drilling trends for 2012: More states in play and fewer lease options
PITTSBURGH (AP) ' Experts say Marcellus Shale natural gas production is expected to keep rising in 2012, yet landowners may find that signing lease deals isn't as easy as in years past.
That's because the business of Marcellus Shale gas drilling is starting to change, as new forces emerge.
Among them are drilling opportunities in shale states other than Pennsylvania; Shell's coming decision on where to build a massive processing plant; and the great unknown, the market prices for natural gas.
Drillers have swarmed in recent years to the lucrative Marcellus Shale that lies beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio. Pennsylvania is the center of activity, with more than 3,000 wells drilled in the past three years and thousands more planned.