Marcellus Shale contributing to recent growth in U.S. natural gas production, agency says

The Marcellus shale play is driving much of the recent growth in U.S. natural gas production, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

Gross production of natural gas in the United States has been increasing for more than a decade and, in recent months, has been more than 10 percent higher than in 2017, the EIA said.

The growth has been driven by production in the Appalachian Basin (Marcellus and Utica shale) in the Northeast, the Permian Basin in western Texas and New Mexico, and the Haynesville shale in Texas and Louisiana.

The three regions collectively accounted for less than 15 percent of total U.S. natural gas production as recently as 2007, but now they account for nearly 50 percent of total production, the EIA said.

Growth in natural gas production in the Northeast has come mainly from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in the Appalachian basin, which collectively accounted for about 29 percent of total production in July 2018, the EIA said.

Production has increased partly because of new drilling and completion techniques, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.