Pennsylvania – update through July 2019

This interactive presentation contains the latest gas (and a little oil) production data, from all 9,087 horizontal wells in Pennsylvania that started producing from 2010 onward, through July.

Gas production set a new record in July, at 18.5 Bcf/d. In the first 7 months of this year, 380 new wells came online, versus 417 in the same period last year. As is shown by the blue curves, total July production from wells that began production since last year was just below 50%. This is an (incomplete) indication that declines are lower than in the tight oil basins, where you often find a much higher percentage for this metric.

Like in many of the other basins, improvements in well productivity have also slowed down here since 2017 (see the “Well quality tab). New wells are on a path to recover more than 5 Bcf of natural gas by year 3.

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 particular year.

A straight line on this type of plot indicates that the production from the related wells is following a harmonic decline. If the more recent wells follow these trends, they may each recover well above 10 Bcf of gas, before having declined to a rate of 100 Mcf/d.

In the webinar last week (our first ever!), which was about terminal decline rates, we saw that the terminal decline rates in the Barnett and the Marcellus were the lowest among the major tight gas basins, at around 10-12% after 7 years on production. You can find a recording of this webinar here: ShaleProfile Webinar – Terminal Decline Rates

Over the weekend Texas published new production data, through July for most wells. Later this week I will have a post on the Permian based on this data, but it is also already available in our subscription services.

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.


  • brookpe says:

    Check out the quarter 1 2017 Cabot wells.

    Could the hard rollover be real?


  • Dennis Coyne says:


    Great job on the webinar!

    One thing that comes to mind on terminal decline rates is that although you currently see 10% terminal decline rates for Permian Basin and Williston Basin wells, I think these rates might increase for newer wells. For 2010-2013 Permian basin wells the terminal decline rate looks higher, perhaps 13 to 15%.

    1. Enno says:

      Thanks Dennis,

      We now have a good dashboard to analyze this topic, so as time goes by we can learn whether these decline rates are indeed changing over time.

  • Dennis Coyne says:

    On Williston, I agree the terminal decline looks like about 10%.

  • Dennis Coyne says:

    It seems strange that we would get different results for Permian.

    Chart below uses shaleprofile data for 2010-2012 Permian wells and seems to suggest a terminal decline rate of 15%. A similar analysis leads to a 10% decline for Williston.


  • Enno says:


    Although we calculated it slightly different (oil wells only, no refracs, effective instead of nominal decline), the results are very much the same. If you look at the screenshot, we got 14% decline in year 6. However, it was still lower in year 7 and 8 (~10%).

  • Dennis Coyne says:


    I believe the problem is the small sample for year 7 an year 8, as you suggested we will see.

    I think the newer wells are likely to have higher decline rates. I used oil wells only, I think. Not sure what the difference is between effective and nominal decline can you explain?

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