Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale operators produced nearly as much natural gas in the first six months of 2011 as they did in the previous year and a half, according to new Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) data.

Northeastern Pennsylvania not only continues to lead production in the state, but is growing. Neighboring Bradford, Susquehanna and Tioga Counties combined for 260.2 Bcf during the reporting period (up from 163.6 Bcf in the second half of 2010). Bradford County alone, at 117.5 Bcf, produced more than a quarter of the state's total Marcellus production during the period.

Southwestern Pennsylvania production also jumped. Washington, Greene, Fayette and Westmoreland counties produced 114.5 Bcf during the period (up from 77.3 Bcf during the second half of 2010).

While the northeast and southwest are traditionally the two main Marcellus hotspots in the state, a third region -- central Pennsylvania -- is also growing. Clearfield, Clinton and Centre counties produced 15.9 Bcf during the period, more than triple the 5.1 Bcf they produced in the second half of 2010.

Tioga led the play in condensate production with 294,108 bbl, followed by emerging Butler County in southwestern Pennsylvania (153,006 bbl) and Washington County (42,843 bbl). Almost the entire oil production from the play came from the 363,887 bbl produced out of Washington County.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. produced 79.8 Bcf from 1,286 wells. Talisman Energy Inc. produced 70.3 Bcf from 684 wells. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. produced 54.5 Bcf from 261 wells. Range Resources Corp. produced 42 Bcf from 632 wells and EQT Corp. produced 27 Bcf from 355 wells.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 15 in March 2010, requiring Marcellus 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).

This is the second six-month update (see Shale Daily, Feb. 28).