Pennsylvania gas production continues to break records

  • Marie Cusick

Pennsylvania is on track to produce enough gas this year to satisfy about 16 percent of annual demand for the United States.

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is on track to produce enough gas this year to satisfy about 16 percent of annual demand for the United States.

Drillers in Pennsylvania continue to produce record-breaking amounts of natural gas, according to new numbers released this week from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Companies operating in Pennsylvania produced nearly 2 trillion cubic feet of gas in the first half of 2014.
If they continue at this pace, Pennsylvania is on track to produce 4 trillion cubic feet this year– or about 16 percent of what the entire United States consumes annually.
The state’s main gas industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, touted the fact that the gas output has lead to job growth and a competitive edge for the manufacturing sector.
“These record-shattering numbers, driven principally by operational efficiencies and a maturing infrastructure network, reflect the fact that Pennsylvania is well-positioned to continue playing a leading role in strengthening our nation’s energy security,” said MSC spokesman Travis Windle.
The production figures keep surpassing expectations, even among people who closely watch the industry.
“The drilling activity is going down, but we’re seeing a lot more well completions and the pipeline capacity is increasing,” says Matt Henderson of Penn State University’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research. “It’s hard to say when it’s going to stop.”
Gas graph

Courtesy: Penn State University

Penn State University

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)– the statistics arm of the federal Department of Energy– also tracks gas production in the Marcellus Shale region, which includes Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
“As far as individual formations go, it’s producing the most natural gas in the United States,” says EIA research analyst Sam Gorgen. “We haven’t seen any monthly declines recently, so you get that record production every month.”
Cabot Oil and Gas’ operations in Susquehanna County continue to be among the most productive wells in Pennsylvania– its wells accounted for seven of the top 10.
“While we’re fortunate to be in Susquehanna County, it still takes know-how and the right technology to bring production to the surface,” says Cabot spokesman George Stark. “It’s one of the things we excel at.”

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