Marcellus (PA) – update through February 2019

This interactive presentation contains the latest gas (and a little oil) production data, from all 8,788 horizontal wells in Pennsylvania that started producing since 2010, through February 2019.

Gas production in Pennsylvania fell by 1% m-o-m to 18.1 Bcf/d, after setting a new record in January. Compared with a year earlier, this was just over 2 Bcf/d higher.

An important reason behind the recent highs is that well productivity has continued to improve, as you’ll find in the ‘Well quality’ tab. The 748 wells that started in 2017 are on a path to recover more than 4 Bcf in the first 2 years on production, on average, more than double the amount that was recovered by wells that started 5 years earlier.

As in many basins, proppant loadings have increased significantly in the past few years. In 2012 wells were completed with about 4.3 million pounds of proppants, on average. By the end of last year, this number was close to 18 million pounds.

Almost all leading operators started the year with record production (“Top operators”). EQT, which bought Rice Energy, is the largest producer with 3.5 Bcf/d of production in February. However, as both entities are still reported separately, it now comes 4th in the ranking.

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 began production in a certain year.

If you extrapolate these curves, you’ll find that newer wells are on a trajectory to recover more than 10 Bcf on average, before they have declined to a level of 100 Mcf/d.

If you group the wells by quarter (using the “Show wells by” selection), the wells are sorted and averaged by quarter instead, which allows you to see more granularity and recent data. It also reveals that the 195 wells that started in Pennsylvania in the 4th quarter last year had a remarkably good start, recovering 1 Bcf on average in the first 3 months on production.

We were happy to see that Trent Jacobs, from the JPT, wrote an excellent article about the other major shale gas basin, the Haynesville, last week, and that he used our analytics service for that: New Operators, Well Designs Drive Record Gas Production in Haynesville.

Later this week we will have a post on the Eagle Ford, followed by updates on the Permian and the Haynesville Basin 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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