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Pennsylvania unconventional gas production from horizontal wells set a new record at 16.4 Bcf/d in July

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Marcellus (PA) – update through July 2018

This article contains still images from the interactive dashboards available in the original blog post. To follow the instructions in this article, please use the interactive dashboards. Furthermore, they allow you to uncover other insights as well.


This interactive presentation contains the latest gas (and a little oil) production data, from all 8,298 horizontal wells in Pennsylvania that started producing since 2010, through July. It also contains the production data from Ohio & West Virginia, but as these states have a greater lag in their reporting, only Pennsylvania is preselected in most views.


Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboards

As you can see, unconventional gas production from horizontal wells set a new record in July, at 16.4 Bcf/d. In June just over 100 wells started production (compared with an average level of ~60 wells per month so far this year), which explains this sudden jump.

The cumulative production profiles, shown in the bottom graph of the ‘Well quality’ tab, reveal that well performance improved significantly in 2017, but that it has not made further strides so far in 2018. A typical well recovers 2.7 Bcf in the first 12 months on production now, a level that took more than 4 years for a well that started in 2012.



Of the largest operators in this area, Chesapeake showed the biggest gain in output in July, narrowing the gap with Cabot, which recently took over the lead (see “Top operators”).


The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:


This “Ultimate Return” overview shows the relationship between gas production rates, and cumulative gas production, averaged for all horizontal wells that started producing in a certain quarter.

If you click on the wells that started in Q4 2013 (in the color legend), you’ll see that this group of wells has so far recovered most gas, on average, at 4.4 Bcf per well.

Declines are low (compared with oil), and I belief that the current level of completions (~ 2 wells per day), can sustain a higher gas production capacity.


Later this week I plan to have a new update on the Niobrara, followed by one on the Permian early next week.

Production data is subject to revisions. For this presentation, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  •  Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection


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Edited by shaleprofile

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Notice that you have these large-output fields just South of the border of New York State with Pennsylvania (in the area north of Wilkes-Barre).  That suggests that there is a lot of gas sitting underneath the adjacent New York counties;  I recall that NY Governor Cuomo signed a Bill that prevents any gas-fracking drilling inside NY.  Looks like the State is missing out on extraction-tax revenues from gas. 

New York's great fear was contamination of the big water reservoirs in Upstate New York, from which the City draws its drinking water.  As that water is not filtered or treated  (it flows "straight" into huge aqueducts to the City, which look like they are 30 feet in diameter, really giant structures), any contamination would cost a billion or two for the construction of water-treatment plants, and more hundreds of millions for manning the plants in perpetuity. So you can see the logic in the NY thinking. 

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This year's situation looks like last year  - booming production is likely to subdue prices, but inventories are a lot lower this time around. 

Looking forward to the Niobrara and Permian updates!

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