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Appalachian NGLs Resource Study available for free download

"Appalachian NGLs Resource Study:  Final Report for Phase 1 - NGL Producer Engagement and Methodology Development"
In January 2021, the Energy Institute at West Virginia University received an award from the U.S. Department of Energy DOE Leonardo Technologies, Inc. (LTI) to conduct a six-month paper study.  The study investigated the potential benefit of a new natural gas liquids resource assessment of the Utica and Marcellus shale plays in the Appalachian basin.

The goal of this investigation was to prepare a background paper that:
  • updates the literature review prepared by the Energy Institute in 2019 to include the new USGS reports and any other recent assessments and articulate a clear understanding of what is being assessed/estimated and how these data compare with their previous report;
  • interprets the existing assessments according to user needs, methodology, vintage of assessment, data used and level of detail and provides the “best” current estimates from the existing literature and explains the rationale; and
  • provides a clear explanation as to how the Energy Information Agency (EIA)’s resource terminology (i.e., proved reserves, economically recoverable, technically recoverable and remaining-in-place) and Potential Gas Committee (PGC)’s resource estimate terminology (i.e., proved reserves, Probable, Possible and Speculative Resources) map to one another.

Geologic NGLs storage hub study now available for free download, plus link to project data website link

Cover Page Image of Appalachian storage hub for natural gas liquids

On August 29, 2017, WVU released to the public this study that shows how the region can support storage facilities that are critical for attracting petrochemical and related industries to the area. Researchers presented the data at a technical workshop in Canonsburg, Pa.

On August 22, WVU PTTC-Eastern invited regulators from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to a workshop focused on regulation. Three of the study researchers, 20 regulators, five speakers, and two attorneys participated. Regional legal experts provided overviews of existing environmental laws in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

For more information, contact Doug Patchen, 304-293-6216;


Cover page image of Utica Shale Play Book.

Click here to link to the Utica project data website by the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey.

The Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium’s (AONGRC) research is dedicated to the immediate and long-range needs of the petroleum industry in the Appalachian basin. The consortium was created in 1989 at West Virginia University (WVU) and includes the departments of Geology & Geography, Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering, and the state geological surveys in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania.

In addition to this core pool of Appalachian basin experts, the consortium has added, on a project-by-project basis, additional research team members from the US Geological Survey, other universities, DOE-NETL, local consulting geologists and cooperating oil and gas operators.

AONGRC programs assist industry to enhance oil and gas production from marginal fields, develop new sources of natural gas from shallow and deeper sources, and map and expand our energy infrastructure, while promoting best practices to ensure safety and reduce environmental impact.

Trenton – Black River Play Book

In 2006, the AONGRC released the results of a three-year, industry- and government-funded study to create a “Geologic Play Book for Trenton-Black River Appalachian Basin Exploration.”  Access to the final play book, project database and other information is available  here.

The Trenton-Black River (TBR) study served as the foundation for the recently completed Utica-Point Pleasant study.  During the TBR study, the research team examined all units from the base of the Black River to the base of the Utica, an interval that included the Point Pleasant Formation.  The focus of the TBR study was on hydrothermal dolomites in the Black River and fractured carbonates in the Trenton.  The focus of the Utica study was on organic-rich intervals above the top of the Trenton, including the Logana, Point Pleasant and Utica.

Information on Devonian and Ordovician Gas Shales

The  West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey has posted selected references on Devonian Shales, especially the Marcellus Shale, on their website.

Similar information on Appalachian basin shale can be found on the websites for the geological surveys in  OhioPennsylvania, and  New York.