Report: Pennsylvania natural gas production shows 'significant' jump

Total natural gas production in Pennsylvania grew by 14.7% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year, a report by the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office said.

“Despite decelerating from the previous two quarters, production growth continued to show significant strength,” the report said.

Pennsylvania remains the second-highest natural gas producing state after Texas, with 6.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced in 2018.

Production volume for horizontal wells in the first quarter of 2019 reached 1,653.9 billion cubic feet, the report said. All of the production growth for the quarter was from unconventional wells — i.e., wells requiring horizontal drilling into deep formations and fracturing with fluids — spud in 2017 and 2018.

Horizontal well production has grown for 11 consecutive months, and average production per well has grown for 10 consecutive months, the report said.

There were 8,765 producing horizontal wells in the state in the first quarter of 2019 — a 10.7% increase over the previous year. Since the first quarter of 2017, total producing wells increased by 20.1%, the report said.

Southwestern Pennsylvania has four of the Top 10 natural gas producing counties in the state — Washington (No. 2), Greene (No. 3), Butler (No. 8) and Allegheny (No. 9), the report said.

Allegheny County, although representing only 2.4% of the production volume in the state, had the highest rate of production growth — 89.3% — from the first quarter of 2018 (21.4 billion cubic feet) to the first quarter of 2019 (40.4 billion cubic feet), the report said.