Marcellus (PA) – update through July 2018

This interactive presentation contains the latest gas (and a little oil) production data, from all 8,298 horizontal wells in Pennsylvania that started producing since 2010, through July. It also contains the production data from Ohio & West Virginia, but as these states have a greater lag in their reporting, only Pennsylvania is preselected in most views.

As you can see, unconventional gas production from horizontal wells set a new record in July, at 16.4 Bcf/d. In June just over 100 wells started production (compared with an average level of ~60 wells per month so far this year), which explains this sudden jump.

The cumulative production profiles, shown in the bottom graph of the ‘Well quality’ tab, reveal that well performance improved significantly in 2017, but that it has not made further strides so far in 2018. A typical well recovers 2.7 Bcf in the first 12 months on production now, a level that took more than 4 years for a well that started in 2012.

Of the largest operators in this area, Chesapeake showed the biggest gain in output in July, narrowing the gap with Cabot, which recently took over the lead (see “Top operators”).

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 producing in a certain quarter.

If you click on the wells that started in Q4 2013 (in the color legend), you’ll see that this group of wells has so far recovered most gas, on average, at 4.4 Bcf per well.

Declines are low (compared with oil), and I belief that the current level of completions (~ 2 wells per day), can sustain a higher gas production capacity.

Later this week I plan to have a new update on the Niobrara, followed by one on the Permian early next week.

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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