Pennsylvania

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Report: Marcellus Gas Production On the Rise As Drilling Rigs Are Down

Workers on a natural gas drilling rig near Towanda.

Reuters/Tim Shaffer/Landov

Workers on a natural gas drilling rig near Towanda.

Marcellus Shale natural gas production in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is up by 50 percent compared to last year, according to an analysis by Colorado-based firm Bentek Energy.

The Associated Press reports the rise in natural gas production is happening as the number of drilling rigs is down. Tom Murphy with the Marcellus Center for Research & Outreach at Penn State University told the AP that’s because companies are using fewer rigs to drill more wells.

More from the AP:

 Figures for the pipelines that take gas out of the Marcellus show that in the first six months of the year, Pennsylvania produced about 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, with projections for a year-end total of about 3.2 trillion cubic feet.

That yearly number translates into the equivalent of about 550 million barrels of oil.

Companies in Pennsylvania have until midnight tonight to file their latest production data. It is not clear where Bentek got the data for its analysis.

Bentek energy analyst Diane Oswold told the AP current levels of Marcellus production are exceeding expectations and that American natural gas “is actually starting to displace” production from the Gulf of Mexico.

Kathryn Klaber, CEO of the Marcellus Shale Coalition expects production will remain high with increased infrastructure to move the gas to major markets. But Klaber said infrastructure isn’t the only factor the industry is concerned about.

“Keep in mind, Pennsylvania is now producing approximately 10 percent of the nation’s natural gas,” Klaber said in a statement. “Market factors play an important role in this process, but if Pennsylvania is to remain a leading natural gas producer, we need predictable policies in place at all levels of government.”

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