ALBANY, N.Y. – New York's recent decision to ban fracking is hardly seen as a big loss for the nation's production of natural gas.
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That's because scientists say New York's available reserves of natural gas in the sprawling Marcellus Shale are minuscule compared to what can be extracted in other states.
Penn State University geologist Terry Engelder estimates that the entire Marcellus Shale region has 127 trillion cubic feet of commercially viable shale gas reserves, mostly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
His figures indicate New York's available reserves would only be about 5 trillion cubic feet.
Without fracking, New York will remain a state that consumes great quantities of natural gas but produces very little.
New York is the fifth-highest state in natural gas consumption, using 1.2 trillion cubic feet annually.