Texas report: Pennsylvania 2nd only to us in natural gas production

Texas may be the biggest natural gas producer in the country, but Pennsylvania isn’t far behind — and it’s gaining.

A Texas oil and gas trade association acknowledged as much in its recently-released 2019 State of Energy Report.

The report by the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, or TIPRO, put Pennsylvania at No. 2, with 6.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced in 2018. Production in 2017 was 5.4 trillion cubic feet.

Pennsylvania, with its active Marcellus and Utica shale plays, began to take the second spot when it outpaced Louisiana around 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA noted that Pennsylvania has experienced an increase in permitting and drilling activity with the expansion of regional pipeline capacity capable of moving natural gas to market centers outside of production areas — most recently the Mariner East 2 pipeline which came online in December.

Pennsylvania also had a second consecutive year of oil and gas employment growth in 2018, according to the TIPRO report. The state ranks fifth in the country for number of oil and gas jobs (30,193 in 2018) and saw a 7.6 percent increase from 2017.

Pennsylvania ranks 16th for average annual wage ($99,140 in 2018) and sixth for total oil and gas payroll ($2.9 billion), according to the report.

Pennsylvania ranks sixth for number of oil and gas businesses (1,375), the report said.