PITTSBURGH —” Golder Associates is expanding its services for the rapidly emerging shale gas market with a new office near Pittsburgh, at the heart of the Marcellus shale gas formation.

The new office will serve as the hub for Golder’s shale gas business development and project support efforts in the Marcellus formation. Centered in western and northeastern Pennsylvania, the Marcellus shale stretches over about 600 miles of the Appalachian Basin from West Virginia and Ohio to the northeast through Pennsylvania into the state of New York. Some forecasts predict Pennsylvania will be one of the largest natural gas producers in the United States by 2020, with 250 trillion cubic feet of estimated resources in the Marcellus shale.

Golder currently is working in nine of nearly 30 active shale gas basins in North America, ranging from northeast British Columbia to California, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Quebec. Robert van Wyngaarden, Golder global oil and gas sector leader, said: "We are excited to be extending our office reach to support our key and valued shale gas clients in North America with the addition of an office in Pittsburgh. This will enable us to have locally based capabilities and service delivery in place, and to support the growth of the Marcellus shale in particular."

The Pittsburgh office is managed by David Breitmayer, an oil and gas veteran with significant experience in the U.S. marketplace. As a senior business consultant, he will lead Golder’s shale gas business development efforts in the Appalachian Basin.

"This is a natural extension of Golder’s capabilities in the region," Breitmayer said. "Shale developers, regulators, and residents all tell us there is an enormous need for the services that Golder can provide. As activity increases in the Marcellus formation, our global oil and gas clients will benefit from the local knowledge and relationships Golder has developed in 25 years of environmental consulting in Pennsylvania and New York."

The Pittsburgh office adds to Golder’s 16 locations and more than 200 personnel located in and around the Appalachian Basin. A field office in Horseheads, N.Y., also opened last year to support shale gas activities.