Pennsylvania natural gas production set another record last year at 15 Bcf/d, accounting for 19% of the country’s marketed natural gas production, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a note on Monday.
The state’s marketed production increased 3% year/year, to reach more than 5 Tcf overall. Only Texas produced more natural gas at about 18 Bcf/d, EIA said.
Both permitting and rig counts were up too. Citing Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) data, EIA said Pennsylvania issued 2,038 natural gas drilling permits in 2017. That’s up from the 1,352 that were issued the prior year. The drilling rig count in the state also increased, averaging 33 in 2017 compared to 20 in 2016.
Susquehanna, Washington, Bradford and Greene counties have for years dominated production. They were respectively the top four producing counties last year, accounting for two-thirds of statewide natural gas production, according to DEP data.
More natural gas liquids in the southwest part of the state, where Washington and Greene counties are located, and improving estimated ultimate recoveries in northeast Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County, have helped drive activity in those areas, EIA said.
In both 2016 and 2017, Washington, Greene and Susquehanna counties combined accounted for a little more than half of the permits issued in the state and two-thirds of the active rigs there. The EIA forecasts natural gas production to continue to increase throughout the Appalachian Basin as more takeaway capacity comes online.