Gas production rising rapidly in region

BY LAURA LEGERE, Times-Shamrock Writer

Marcellus Shale natural gas production inPennsylvaniacontinued its rapid rise in the first half of 2011, according to figures released this week by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The state’s 1,632 producing Marcellus wells pumped out 432.5 billion cubic feet of gas during the first six months of the year – a 60 percent increase from the amount of gas produced in the second half of 2010.

The three counties that led the state in gas production, Bradford, Susquehanna and Tioga, pulled 260 billion cubic feet of gas from the shale – slightly less than all of the Marcellus Shale gas produced in the entire state in the last half of 2010.

In Wyoming County, four wells – all on Procter & Gamble property in Washington Township – showed considerable output, with one (1-1H) producing 1,284,892 bcfs ranked among the top 50 producers in the state.

BradfordCountyhad 24 wells on the Top 50 list andSusquehannaCountyhad 18. Seven were also located inGreeneCounty.

Timothy Considine, a professor of energy economics at theUniversityofWyoming, said the production numbers are in the ballpark of what the state’s shale gas operators forecast for the year in a report he co-authored this summer.

“Pennsylvaniais becoming a big gas producer in a major way,” he said.

The state is now a net exporter of gas, he added. “That’s changing the entire natural gas market picture in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic region.”

For the first time since the state began releasing the Marcellus production data in September, a southwesternPennsylvaniawell, drilled byEQTProduction Company in Morris Twp.,GreeneCounty, produced the most gas in a reporting period: 3 billion cubic feet.

The state’s Marcellus Shale operators also produced 364,000 barrels of oil or natural gas liquids from the “wet gas” in southwesternPennsylvaniaand 492,000 barrels of condensate.

The reported waste associated with Marcellus Shale production also increased dramatically in the first half of 2011, according to the state data.

Robert Baker also contributed to this story.