Even if all drilling rigs were removed from the northern Marcellus Shale region and current drilling ceased, dry gas production in northeastern Pennsylvania would continue growing for 16 months, thanks to a large inventory of nonproducing wells and high initial production (IP) rates, Bentek Energy LLC said in a market note. "In fact, if zero rigs were operating there, production could still grow from approximately 4.1 Bcf/d today to 5.4 Bcf/d by September 2013, a 31% increase that results exclusively from working off the existing backlog of 1,000 nonproducing wells in the region," the firm said. The assumptions in its analysis are that the 12-month average completion rate is carried forward and the average IP rate in the area is 6,500 Mcf/d. A "typical" Marcellus decline curve is also assumed. Potential pipeline capacity constraints were not included in the analysis.
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