Drilling permits in the natural gas-rich Marcellus, Utica and Haynesville shale plays showed strong month/month growth in December 2023 but remained 16% below the December 2022 total, according to the latest tally by Evercore ISI.

The three formations, which together supply about 53% of Lower 48 gas output, had a combined issued permit count of 359 in December 2023, versus 283 in November and 427 in December 2022.

The Marcellus permit total was 122, up from 107 in November but down from the year-earlier level of 189, said the Evercore team led by James West. 

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