On Wednesday, Febuary 5th in Professor Pat Baker's Oil and Gas class, Jerry Grantham, Vice President of Range Resources, discussed the technology, geology and science behind natural gas production in Central Appalachia. He also discussed the geology of oil and gas and hydrofracturing.A native of southwest Virginia, Mr. Grantham has 30 years of experience in the gas and oil industry throughout the United States. He currently holds the position of Vice President of Range Resources' Southern Appalachia Division, which explores for natural gas -- both conventional and coalbed methane -- in southwestern Virginia. He has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and a Masters' degree in Geology from Michigan State University.
Clean burning natural gas currently represents 99% of the hydrocarbon production in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Coalbed methane makes up the majority of this production, and Virginia is now ranked 5th in coalbed methane production in the nation. All of the gas in Virginia is produced from a 7-county area in the very southwestern corner of the state (also home to ASL). The development of this resource by the gas industry benefits the region and the Commonwealth by creating high paying jobs, generating revenue through royalty and tax payments, and providing the cleanest burning fossil fuel available. According to Grantham, "Natural gas clearly should be part of the solution of meeting the future energy needs of both the Commonwealth and our nation."