EIA: Pennsylvania NatGas Production Increased 3% in 2017
HOUSTON (DTN) -- Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production averaged a
record 15 Bcf/d in 2017, 3% higher than the 2016 level, the Energy Information
Administration said in Today in Energy.
Pennsylvania accounted for 19% of total U.S. marketed natural gas production
in 2017, more than any state except Texas, EIA said.
Permitting and drilling activity has increased in Pennsylvania, supported by
an expansion of regional pipeline capacity capable of moving natural gas to
market centers outside of the state's production areas.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the
state issued 1,352 natural gas drilling permits in 2016 and another 2,038 in
2017. The drilling rig count in the state has also increased, averaging 20 rigs
in 2016 and 33 in 2017, based on data from Baker Hughes.
Recent permitting and drilling activity in Pennsylvania is concentrated in
opposite corners of the state, EIA said. Washington and Greene counties in the
southwestern Pennsylvania and Susquehanna County in the northeastern part of
the state have the highest number of permits and rigs.
Natural gas produced in Washington and Greene counties has a high natural
gas plant liquid content, while production in Susquehanna County is relatively
dry and has lower NGPL content, EIA said.
In Susquehanna County, the estimated ultimate recovery of wells---a measure
of gas productivity---has increased over the past five years, spurring further
drilling activity. In 2016 and 2017, these three high-production counties
combined accounted for slightly more than half of the total permits and
two-thirds of the active rigs in Pennsylvania, EIA said.
Several pipeline projects in recent years has increased the ability of
regional infrastructure to process and transport natural gas out of the state
and region, EIA said.
The Rockies Express Zone 3 expansion, which entered service in October 2016,
moves natural gas westward from southwest Pennsylvania, while the Algonquin
Incremental Market pipeline became operational in December 2016 and primarily
moves gas eastward from northeastern Pennsylvania into New England.
Other pipeline projects that will further increase takeaway out of
Pennsylvania are nearing completion, EIA said. Both the 3.25 Bcf/d Rover
Pipeline Project and the 1.5 Bcf/d NEXUS Gas Transmission Project are expected
to enter service during the next few months, the agency said.
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