Report: U.S. natural gas boom largely due to Marcellus Shale


The shale gas boom in Pennsylvania and other Appalachian states has been the chief driver of growth in U.S. natural gas production since 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday.

According to the EIA's Drilling Productivity Report, natural gas production in the Appalachia region — namely the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays — has increased by more than 14 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) since 2012.

Drilling unconventional wells in the Appalachia region has become quite productive, the EIA said. The average monthly natural gas production per rig for new wells in the Appalachia region increased by 10.8 million cubic feet per day since January 2012.

The EIA attributes the increase to efficiency improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, including faster drilling, longer laterals, advancements in technology and better targeting of wells.

Pennsylvania's natural gas production reached a new high of 15 billion cubic feet per day in October, an increase of 25 percent from year-ago levels and an increase of 80 percent from January 2013, the EIA said.

Pennsylvania accounts for 19 percent of total U.S. natural gas production and 76 percent of total Marcellus Shale production. The Marcellus formation is located primarily in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York.