Washington, Greene lead state's surge to No. 2 gas producer

Rick Shrum

Observer Reporter

Pennsylvania set a record for marketed natural gas production in 2017, making it the No. 2 producer in the nation, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

Washington and Greene counties were significant contributors to that surge.

Drillers in Pennsylvania produced 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcf/d) last year in the Marcellus and Utica shales, EIA reported. That was a 3 percent bump from 2016, and represented 19 percent of the U.S. total.

Texas was No. 1 with about 19 billion Bcf/d. Oklahoma, Louisiana and Ohio were third through fifth, with 5 billion to 7 Bcf/d, EIA said.

Pennsylvania benefited from increases in drilling permits and operating rigs last year, EIA said. Permits rose from 1,352 in 2016 to 2,038 last year. The average number of active rigs increased from 20 two years ago to 33 in 2017.

Greene and Washington counties were the top producers in Southwestern Pennsylvania in 2017; Susquehanna was the biggest in the east. The three counties, collectively, accounted for more than half of the total permits and two-thirds of active rigs in the state, EIA said.