Marcellus (PA) - update through May 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest gas production data from all 7405 horizontal wells in Pennsylvania, through May.

Production from these wells has hovered at a level of around 14.5 Bcf/d since the start of this year, which is almost 20% of total natural gas production in the US. This is a new record, although growth rates have slowed down since early 2015. As you can see from the colored areas, more than half of the gas production in May came from wells that started production since then.

Wells that were put online in 2017 achieve again a better performance, at least during their initial months on production, as the production profiles show in the “Well quality” tab.

A significant factor behind these increases is the amount of proppant used per well to fracture the reservoir. This quantity has doubled over the last 4 years in Pennsylvania, and is so far in 2017 at about 13 million pounds on average.

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate Return” overview shows the relationship between gas production rates, and cumulative gas production, averaged for all horizontal wells that started production in a certain year.

Due to the improvements in well productivity in recent years, the 2014 wells have now produced on average almost more gas (3.25 Bcf) than wells from earlier years, even though they started later.

All these averages mask that there are great differences between operators and individual wells. The 4th overview (“Productivity ranking”) ranks all operators in Pennsylvania by the average cumulative gas production after 2 years. Cabot is doing very well according to this metric (the number 1 operates just a single well).

Furthermore you can see view the distribution of these recoveries in the “Productivity distribution” tab, which uses the same metric by default. It shows that while the median well produces 1.6 Bcf over the first 2 years, 5 wells did even more than 12 Bcf. It appears that these results follow a log normal distribution.

This post only included production data for Pennsylvania, if you wish to see the developments in Ohio and West Virginia as well, please see my previous post on this region, available here.

This Thursday or Friday I plan to publish another “Projections” post, while next week it is time again for Texas and something new!

Production data is subject to revisions. For this presentation, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection



The above presentations have many interactive features:

  • You can click through the blocks on the top to see the slides.
  • Each slide has filters that can be set, e.g. to select individual or groups of operators. You can first click “all” to deselect all items. You have to click the “apply” button at the bottom to enforce the changes. After that, click anywhere on the presentation.
  • Tooltips are shown by just hovering the mouse over parts of the presentation.
  • You can move the map around, and zoom in/out.
  • By clicking on the legend you can highlight selected items.
  • Note that filters have to be set for each tab separately.
  • The operator who currently owns the well is designated by “operator (current)”. The operator who operated a well in a past month is designated by “operator (actual)”. This distinction is useful when the ownership of a well changed over time.
  • If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


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