Some of the numbers in that piece are kind of interesting for a lot of reasons. You have to wonder why anyone would sell their Marcellus holdings if they are as profitable as everyone is saying they are. Of course the economic answer is that everything has a price and the price must be good. How good? Looks like Reliance is paying over $6K per acre. I wonder how much folks who have already signed leases received on their deals. A fraction of that for most I imagine. I can't confirm, but a NS reader wrote saying some early leases are as low as a few dollars an acre. Outliers I hope, but might be something for some intrepid investigative reporters to dig into.
Why so valuable? The Motley Fool has something worth reading carefully: Is There More to the Marcellus Than Meets the Eye? That's not just another piece talking about how there are other layers of shale that may prove developable for additional gas... Think Jake Clampett. That would be interesting.
If you really want to parse the financials of the players in NatGas these days, try this from SeekingAlpha. Or if you are getting confused by all the different shale talk out there, here is a summary of all the shale plays in the US these days. Tie it all together and here is the latest prognostication on how unconventional gas is taking out the bottom of different natural gas markets.
I was curious a bit on Katie Klaber's recent oped that ran in the Scranton Times: http://thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/editorials-columns/guest-columnists/marcellus-multiplier-could-spark-economic-revival-in-pennsylvania-1.928421
I won't ping per se on her neologism for the Marcellus Multiplier which is a PR, not an economic, construct. I was more curious that she was writing this after they engaged Tom Ridge at 7 figures to do PR work for the Marcellus Shale Coalition. I thought the whole point of that was to get his name out there for that type of PR.
But the oped does raise an interesting question. Others will be quantifying the economic impact, or potential economic impact of Marcellus shale in the state. I sure am not going to answer that here, but the starting point is that overall mining employment has indeed gone up a bit, but only a bit over the last few years. It wouldn't even be fair to say that was all Marcellus given that coal and coke prices are themselves reaching new highs of late.
I'll stop there. More to follow. Some interesting things when you dig into the employment patterns in the state.