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Marcellus Production Drove Pennsylvania Increase in 2010

Natural gas production in Pennsylvania is expanding wildly, according to new data released by the state Department of Environmental Protection, which revealed 256 Bcf of natural gas was produced from 1,148 Marcellus Shale wells in the second half of 2010.

The state also produced 320,069 barrels of condensate and 41,674 barrels of oil between July and December.

The report shows that Marcellus Shale production is ballooning. The last six months of 2010 out-produced the previous 12 months, when companies produced 180 Bcf from 632 wells (see Daily GPI, Sept. 10, 2010).

Northeast Pennsylvania continues to lead Marcellus Shale production. Neighboring Susquehanna, Bradford and Tioga counties were responsible for a combined 149 Bcf of natural gas, nearly 60% of the total production in the state. The 10 most productive Marcellus Shale wells in the state are all in Susquehanna County, along the New York-Pennsylvania border. Of those, eight are operated by Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. and two are operated by Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Southwestern Pennsylvania produced 83.2 Bcf during the period. The nine-county area is more liquids-rich than the northeast. A majority of the condensate and oil production came from Range Resources wells in Washington county.

Chesapeake Appalachia LLC reported the largest production of any company with 48.1 Bcf from 87 wells, followed by Talisman Energy USA Inc. with 46.3 Bcf from 130 wells and Cabot with 39.1 Bcf from 80 wells.

According to company reports, Chesapeake Energy is the largest acreage holder in the play with 1,730,000 net acres. The top five is rounded out with Range Resources (1,250,000), Consol Energy (750,000), Seneca Resources (745,000) and Talisman Energy (735,000).

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 15 in March 2010, requiring Marcellus Shale producers to post production data from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 and provide updates every six months (see Shale Daily, Nov. 2, 2010). The new report is the first six-month survey. The next report is due out this summer.

The searchable database is available to the public at www.paoilandgasreporting.state.pa.us.

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