After many months of preparation and preliminary study, drilling is set to begin today (June 26) on the vertical sections – known as top holes – of a science well and two production wells that comprise the nation’s first integrated research initiative on shale gas drilling.
The science well is the centerpiece of the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory, called MSEEL, which West Virginia University launched in fall 2014 in partnership with Northeast Natural Energy, the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy and The Ohio State University. The five-year, $11 million project is unprecedented. It is the first-ever long-term, comprehensive field study of shale gas resources in which scientists will study the process from beginning-to-end.
Photo courtesy Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory