The pace and extent of Marcellus Shale development across Pennsylvania can be “seen” in animated maps produced by the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research. Based on data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the animations ( show both the number of drilling permits issued for the Marcellus Shale target and the number of wells drilled by year from 2007 through August 2010. Although permits were issued prior to 2007, information on those permits did not include latitude and longitude.

“These animations give people a chance to see how the pace of Marcellus development has accelerated,” said Tom Murphy, co-director of the Marcellus Center and extension educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension. “When you look at these animations, you are able to trace where development is occurring and get a sense of the rate at which it is occurring.”

The two animations also allow comparison between the number of permits issued and the actual number of wells drilled.

The animations show that interest in the Marcellus has skyrocketed with just 99 drilling permits issued in 2007 compared to 2,108 in the first eight months of 2010. A similar surge in the numbers of wells drilled is also evident. In 2010, through August 31, 950 wells had been drilled in the Marcellus Shale while in all of 2007, only 43 wells were drilled.