EIA: Marcellus Shale production surpasses 15 Bcf/d

Natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale hit another record, clocking in at more than 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) through July, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Marcellus, a shale formation located primarily in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, accounts for almost 40 percent of U.S. shale gas production.

“Marcellus region production has increased dramatically over the past four years, increasing from 2 Bcf/d in 2010 to its current level,” the EIA said Tuesday.

The number of active rigs in the area has hovered near 100 rigs over the past 10 months. Improved drilling productivity has boosted production numbers while keeping rig counts relatively steady.

“With 100 rigs in operation, and with each rig supporting more than 6 million cubic feet per day in new-well production each month, new Marcellus region wells coming online in August are expected to deliver over 600 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of additional production,” EIA said. “This production from new wells is more than enough to offset the anticipated drop in production that results from existing well decline rates, increasing the production rate by 247 MMcf/d.”

The Marcellus isn’t the only shale play seeing big growth. Oil production from the Bakken formation in North Dakota surpassed 1 million barrels per day (MMb/d) in April and May, the most recent EIA data available.

“This record is the result of increasing crude oil production from the Williston Basin's Bakken and Three Forks formations in North Dakota and eastern Montana,” EIA noted.

Stephanie Ritenbaugh: sritenbaugh@post-gazette.com or 412-263-4910. Twitter: @StephanieRit

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