2019-01-12 / Front Page

Pennsylvania gas by the numbers

boomPennsylvania’s natural gas production in 2018 reached a milestone that was unthinkable a decade ago – 6 trillion cubic feet – according to a report from the news service, StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Drillers extracted 13 percent more gas in the first three quarters of 2018 than during the same period the previous year, according to a recent report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.

David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry trade group, said the uptick is due in part to efficiency. Operators are drilling longer wells that extend on average for 10,000 feet horizontally underground.

Plus, he said, more pipelines are coming online, giving drillers greater ability to transport shale gas to market.

The Energy Information Administration has announced that the U.S. is now a net natural gas exporter. The country is expected to ship more gas to other nations in the years ahead.

More pipelines coming online, coupled with higher production, means the industry’s focus is shifting to how it can best use the region’s natural gas. Spigelmyer pointed to plans for more gas-fired power plants and projects such as Shell’s ethane cracker under construction in Beaver County.

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