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Natural gas: boom, disaster or both?

Part one: A super field unfolds

NEW YORK STATE — Across the Hudson River, a 21st-century gold rush is on.

The mineral this time is natural gas and the players are some of the biggest names in the oil-and-gas industry, Exxon/Mobile and Chesapeake Energy among them. It’s locked a mile down in Devonian Shale, deposited 400 millions years ago as mud and plankton when the Appalachian basin was a sea and aged since to high-Btu-content fuel.

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