Delaware has landed at the center of a political and environmental battle over natural gas locked deep underground far north of the state's border, with Gov. Jack Markell's administration seen as a potential swing vote on well-drilling regulations set to go before a regional commission next Monday.
Bentek Energy, a Colorado-based industry analysis company, reported recently that shale gas discoveries will likely lead to a doubling of pipeline capacity by 2013, with major expansions in the Northeast. The Energy Department has separately predicted that shale gas production -- a tiny fraction of national output just 10 years ago, could grow to 46 percent of the nation's natural gas output in 25 years, with proven reserves doubling in just one year.
The Marcellus shale in the Northeast is the largest continuous formation of its type in the world, Bentek pointed out last year, and because of its location under and near major metropolitan areas, is a potential boon to suppliers and users.
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