shale and tight resources

natural gas and crude oil from shale and tight rock formations are changing the global energy supply landscape


a game changer

In the United States, the industry’s ability to develop natural gas from shale, as well as crude oil from tight rock, has helped trigger an energy renaissance. According to the study America’s New Energy Future, by research company IHS, shale gas and tight oil are contributing to the U.S. economy by creating jobs and driving a rebirth of manufacturing.

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The energy industry is unlocking abundant shale and tight oil and gas resources, developing affordable energy, and driving the American economy.
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 Globally, there are more than 7,500 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas resources.

There are over 400 billion barrels of shale/tight oil in the world

The amount of recoverable shale gas available is equivalent to about 60 years of the world's current natural gas demand.


where we operate

United States

Chevron holds approximately 428,000 net acres (1,732 sq km) in the Marcellus Shale, one of North America’s largest and richest sources of natural gas from shale. Our interest in the Marcellus runs beneath large swaths of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The company also holds a significant position in the Utica Shale, which lies partially beneath the Marcellus.

In the Permian region (Texas and New Mexico), Chevron holds approximately 1.7 million net acres (6,880 sq km) in the Delaware and Midland basins, where it is developing tight oil and liquids-rich gas shales.

The company also holds shale and tight resource opportunities elsewhere in the midcontinent region, primarily in East Texas and in the Piceance Basin in northwestern Colorado.


In Alberta, Chevron Canada Limited has a 70 percent operated interest in approximately 215,000 net acres (870 sq km) in the liquids-rich Duvernay shale formation, where an extensive appraisal program is underway. At the Horn River and Liard shale basins in British Columbia, the company holds a 50 percent operated interest in 290,000 net acres (1,174 sq km). These significant resources support the proposed Kitimat liquefied natural gas project.


In Argentina, Chevron produces crude oil and natural gas through its wholly owned subsidiary Chevron Argentina S.R.L. The company’s interests include exploration for and development of shale oil and gas resources from the Vaca Muerta formation, located in Neuquén province. Chevron Argentina S.R.L. holds an 85 percent-owned and operated interest in one concession, covering 94,000 net acres (380 sq km), that has both conventional production and Vaca Muerta Shale potential. Also in the Vaca Muerta shale formation, another Chevron subsidiary participates in the Loma Campana concession and the Narambuena blocks, covering 73,000 net acres (295 sq km).

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, Argentina holds the world’s second-largest shale gas reserves. Vaca Muerta is Argentina’s largest shale gas play, with an estimated 308 trillion cubic feet of dry, wet and associated shale gas resources.


how we operate

Development of natural gas and oil resources from shale and tight rock involves a number of steps. These include obtaining permission to drill from the landowner and government, constructing a temporary drilling site, and using a rig to drill the well. A key aspect of releasing the resources from the rock formations is the use of hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as "fracking"), which involves injecting water, sand and a small amount of chemical additives under pressure to crack the rock and release the trapped oil and gas. By combining this process with horizontal drilling, more of the resource can be reached with fewer wells and less earth disturbance. Once drilling and completions processes are complete, the well is ready to produce oil or natural gas or both for decades. Chevron monitors the well throughout its life to verify integrity and when the well stops producing, the land is restored to its natural state. The development steps described here reflect Chevron’s operations that produce natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Similar activities occur in producing shale gas and tight oil from other Chevron operations, including the Permian Basin.


industry leader

In 2014, Chevron became the first company to earn Center for Responsible Shale Development certification, which recognizes our environmentally sound practices. The CRSD is an unprecedented collaboration built on constructive engagement among environmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and energy companies from across the Appalachian Basin who share the objective of advancing the industry’s operational performance through technological innovation and the sharing of best practices. Chevron was recertified in October 2016. Read our most recent CRSD report.



Technology is essential to identifying, developing and producing shale reservoirs. We have a technology unit focused exclusively on solving the technical challenges of shale and tight rock formations.


addressing the issues

Keeping people safe and protecting the environment are Chevron core values. We share the public's expectation that the energy we need will be produced safely and reliably. Decisions for all our shale and tight oil and gas operations are guided by Chevron’s Operational Excellence Management System, a systematic and risk-based approach to identifying, assessing and managing personal safety and health, process safety, the environment, reliability and efficiency. We employ a systematic approach to environmental stewardship that includes rigorous standards and processes. We know that public confidence in our operations is essential to our success. We engage communities where we live and operate to learn about local concerns, share information and minimize potential impacts of our activities.


chevron in the marcellus

Chevron is one of the largest leaseholders in the Marcellus Shale, with leases covering approximately 428,000 net acres (1,732 sq km). One of North America’s largest and richest sources of natural gas from shale, the Marcellus runs beneath large swaths of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio and dips into neighboring states.

Chevron is committed to responsibly developing natural gas from shale in the Appalachian basin, including protecting the environment and supporting communities where we live and work. The Marcellus case study explains our operating practices and our investments.