While most eyes in the statewide fracking debate are on the Marcellus Shale region in Western Maryland, a smaller gas basin beneath Southern Maryland is drawing a Texas-based energy company’s attention.I'm beginning to suspect that potentially productive shale lies deep underground almost everywhere there is sedimentary geology, and that the world's supply of natural gas is far greater than we had any idea it was just a few years ago.
The Shore Exploration and Production Corp. has leased 84,000 acres of land in Virginia in relation to the Taylorsville basin, but has not begun drilling.
The basin, though mostly in Virginia, runs in Maryland through most of Charles County and also goes into St. Mary’s, Prince George’s, Calvert and Anne Arundel counties.
Shore Exploration once leased Maryland land with Exxon and Texaco during the late 1980s to study the basin, but was unable to use it for extracting natural gas, said Stan Sherrill, Shore’s president.
Energy companies now have stronger technology options, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which is also called fracking, he said.
However, Shore will not currently lease in Maryland because of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s order that prevents the Maryland Department of the Environment from approving drilling permits until the end of a scientific study examining fracking.
Actually, I'm not terribly upset that Maryland and other states have banned "fracking" for natural gas now, because at some point, we'll need more, and it will be available then. We can't have idiots in office for ever, can we?