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Pennsylvania Marcellus Permits Pass 2000 Mark

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued 277 permits for Marcellus Shale drilling and operators reported drilling 226 wells into the play in August, according to recently released figures.

Through the first eight months of the year, the DEP issued 2,192 permits and operators reported drilling 1,241 wells in the Marcellus. Over the same period of 2010, the DEP issued 2,065 permits and operators reported drilling 903 wells. Between January and August of 2009, the DEP issued 1,127 permits and operators reported drilling 329 wells.

Permitting appears to be slowing in northeastern Pennsylvania, but drilling activity continues to increase. The DEP issued 941 permits and companies reported drilling 552 wells in Bradford, Tioga and Susquehanna counties through the end of August, compared to 1,058 permits and 462 wells in the first eight months of 2010.

While operators are harvesting in those prolific counties, they are ramping up activities in surrounding counties. The DEP issued 440 permits and companies reported drilling 250 wells in Potter, Lycoming, Sullivan and Wyoming counties through August, compared to 225 permits and 92 wells drilled through the first eight months of 2010.

Despite production increases, activity is leveling some in central Pennsylvania (see Shale Daily, Aug. 24).

The DEP issued 192 permits and companies reported drilling 94 wells in Elk, Jefferson, Clearfield, Centre and Clinton counties through August, compared to 188 permits and 79 wells over the same period in 2010.

Like northeastern Pennsylvania, activity is expanding in southwestern Pennsylvania, with permitting down and drilling up in traditional areas and permitting increasing rapidly in neighboring counties (see Shale Daily, Aug. 10).

The DEP issued 323 permits and companies reported drilling 209 wells in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties through August, compared to 368 permits issued and 179 wells drilled over the same period in 2010.

The DEP issued 219 permits and companies reported drilling 98 wells in Westmorelnad, Indiana, Armstrong and Butler counties through August, compared to 142 permits and 71 wells through the first eight months of 2010.

Production is expanding across the Pennsylvania Marcellus. The play produced 432.5 Bcf this year through the end of June, according to the DEP, comparison to 271.8 Bcf in the last six months of 2010 (see Shale Daily, Aug. 17).

Through the first eight months of the year, Chesapeake Energy Corp. drilled 174 wells, Talisman Energy Inc. drilled 163 wells, Range Resources Corp. drilled 133 wells and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. drilled 126 wells in the play.

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