Md. Natural Gas Value: $5.9 Billion To $49 Billion

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CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — A study of natural reserves in western Maryland puts the prospective lifetime value at $5.9 billion to $49.1 billion.

University of Maryland Extension workers who crunched the numbers said Friday that Garrett County has about twice the production potential of neighboring Allegany County.

The study was done to educate public officials and private citizens about untapped reserves of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, a mineral-rich geological formation that extends from New York to Virginia.

Two drilling companies are seeking permits to extract the gas through a hotly debated process called hydraulic fracturing.

The estimates are based on today’s natural gas prices. They don’t include gas reserves on state-owned land.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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