Natural gas production in Pennsylvania reached another high during the first quarter, when volumes hit 1.441 Tcf, up about 10% from the 1.312 Tcf produced in 1Q2017, according to the state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO).
In a quarterly report released on Thursday, which uses Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection data, the IFO said unconventional horizontal wells, which account for nearly all production, continued driving gains. First quarter volumes also surpassed the 1.402 Tcf reported for 4Q2017.
Wells spud in 2016 and 2017 accounted for all of the first quarter growth, IFO said, while they comprised nearly one-third of all the period’s production. The number of producing wells was also up by 9.1% year/year to 8,402 in 1Q2018 from 7,700 in 1Q2017. Of those, 7,913 were unconventional horizontal wells and 489 were vertical wells drilled into unconventional formations.
Once again, Susquehanna, Washington, Bradford and Greene were, in order, the state’s top four producing counties, accounting for two-thirds of natural gas production. Among those in the top 10, all counties except for Bradford, Lycoming and Fayette recorded production gains.
The first quarter gains followed growth last year, even as producers were still recovering from the 2014 commodities downturn. Natural gas production in the state reached 5.4 Tcf in 2017, up roughly 5% from the prior year.