Marcellus (PA) – update through March 2019

This interactive presentation contains the latest gas (and a little oil) production data, from all 8,853 horizontal wells in Pennsylvania that started producing since 2010, through March 2019.

Gas production in Pennsylvania dropped by a small amount in March, but remained close to January’s record output, at 18.2 Bcf/d. In the first quarter of this year, 147 wells started production, almost unchanged from a year earlier (142).

New wells peak at a level of around 12,000 Mcf/d, which is roughly 20% higher than the peak rate of wells that came online in 2017 (‘Well quality’ tab).

Range Resources was the only operator in the top 5 that increased production in March and it is now just above 2 Bcf/d of operated production (final tab).

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 quarter.

If you go through these quarters (click on a quarter in the legend to highlight the respective curve), you’ll note that initial well productivity has steadily improved over the years. The 195 horizontal wells that started in the final quarter last year had again the best start and recovered 1.4 Bcf of natural gas in the first 4 months on production, on average. If they follow a similar decline path as earlier wells, they will recover around 10 Bcf of gas each, before they’ve fallen to an average production rate of 500 Mcf/d.

In our subscription service you can easily find that these new wells are completed with nearly 18 million pounds of proppants, on average. This is double the amount that was used just 4 years ago.

While output in Susquehanna, the most prolific county, is still rising rapidly, other counties appear to be over their peak. See for example the production in Lycoming and Wyoming in the screenshot below. It reveals the total gas production in the top 6 counties in Pennsylvania. The map on the right shows the exact location of the horizontal wells in these counties.


Natural gas production in the top 6 counties in Pennsylvania

Click on the image to see the high-resolution version. This dashboard is available in our online analytics service.

Next week, we will have new posts on the Permian and the Eagle Ford. Texas recently released production data through February/March, which is now already available in our analytics and data services.

Next week Tuesday at noon (ET) we will present a briefing on all the major tight oil basins in the US, in our ShaleProfile channel on enelyst. Registering is free: enelyst registration page.

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.


  • Coffeeguyzz says:


    Your comment regarding Lycoming and Wyoming counties being over their peak may prove inaccurate in the coming months.
    The number of drilled wells – 20 – first 3 months this year in Wyoming is almost equal the 26 drilled in the 3 preceding years combined.

    Likewise, the 31 drilled in Lycoming county so far this year (location of Williamsport … home of Little League World Series) is comparable to the 34 and 33 drilled in full calendar years 2018 and 2017.

    Low pricing and pipeline constraints play a role.

    These numbers are dwarfed – for both counties – by the activity during the Land Grab phase of 2010/2013 when several hundreds of wells (and pads) were put into operation.

    While the quality of Lycoming rock does not compare favorably with Bradford/Susquehannah, tiny Wyoming boasts some of the best per well production anywhere.
    McGavin 6 is well over 14 Bcf in 20 months online, as is the nearby Wood 3 in the same timeframe.
    Also in NEPA – Sullivan county – the Joeguswa 4 and 5 wells have combined over 10 Bcf in 4 1/2 months production.

    The productive footprint of the Marcellus, Utica, and various Upper Devonian formations continues to expand and may be decades away from being adequately delineated.

    1. Enno says:


      Thanks for the correction. I indeed see now that the combined rig count in these 2 counties (Lycoming and Wyoming) has increased in 2019 to 7 in the last week, the highest in 4 years. We’ll see the effect of that in the coming months.

      I took the screenshot below from our analytics service. It shows the average well performance, based on the cumulative gas recovery in the first 6 months, over time, in the 6 counties in the northeast of Pennsylvania.

      You can see that Wyoming is indeed not far behind Susquehanna, based on this metric.


      1. Coffeeguyzz says:

        Your site offers an outstanding array of analytical tools and I hope the number of your followers continues to grow.

        The above graphs including Tioga county (green line) are especially instructive for several reasons.
        Comparable in size to Bradford at over 1,100 square miles (about 50% larger than Susquehannah), Tioga is showing highly productive wells from both the Marcellus AND Utica throughout the entire county.

        Southwestern has vigorously re-engaged in Appalachian Basin activity and is showing very strong production here.
        Shell, operating as SWEPI, has cracked the code for Utica production in Tioga these past 2 years with a number of productive wells.

        Word is out that Shell may halt its upstream operations, once again, in Pennsylvania.

  • shallow sand says:

    The Marcellus producers have pretty much destroyed themselves. Shares are generally trading a decade lows. Bonds are junk.

    These companies need to stop the madness.

  • Coffeeguyzz says:


    One of the big issues facing Appalachian Basin producers is an overabundance of product being brought to market. The associated gas coming from Texas and Oklahoma will weigh heavily on Henry Hub pricing for many years to come.

    Using back of the envelope, $3/mmbtu HH numbers, virtually all the wells shown in the above graph – from 2010 onwards – have gross revenue in the $12 million range.
    Using Enno’s 10 Bcf recoverable figure gives $30 million per well gross revenue.
    The McGavin 6 and Wood 3 have gross of over $40 million in under 2 years.
    Big concern – of many – for the oil boys might be the humungous chasm in price/cost of heat energy contained in natgas versus oil.
    $15.25 this moment is the cost for 1 boe heat energy.

    Up in Wyalusing, Bradford county, a 2.1 million tonne per year LNG facility is being constructed by New Fortress Energy.
    A second location is planned. At a cost of under $1 billion per project, the flood of LNG from far flung, small and mid scale LNG plants is about to be unleashed.

    The reverberations from this so called Shale Revolution have only begun.

  • shallow sand says:


    Why are the shares of the Marcellus producers doing so poorly of the wells are profitable.?

    The service companies are doing even worse it appears.

  • Coffeeguyzz says:


    I do not follow the financial side enough to offer much clarity.
    But the wells run about $8/$10 million per to D&C, and at 5 Billion cubic feet and $3 mmbtu, gross should hit $15 million.
    Pipeline costs take a toll, amongst other expenses, but LOE is fairly modest compared to the oil boys.
    Seems like hearing a broken record that they will turn a corner, but only Cabot seems to be there.

    What I do know, Shallow, is that there is a LOT of gas in the Appalachian Basin.
    Century’s worth, give or take.

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