Washington, Greene near top of shale gas producers

Rick Shrum
Observer Reporter

Shale gas production in Pennsylvania increased an impressive 12.9 percent over the first three quarters of this year, compared with the first nine months of 2017.

Guess who helped lead the charge?

Washington and Greene were the second- and third-most productive counties, respectively, according to data from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP reported Susquehanna County, in the northeastern quadrant of the state, was first with 1.07 billion McF of natural gas from 1,352 active wells. (One McF equals 1,000 cubic feet.) Susquehanna, bordering New York state, was a prolific producer, accounting for nearly one-fourth of the commonwealth’s 4.47 billion McF.

The two southwesternmost counties weren’t far behind, though. Washington produced 862.4 million McF through September, a 27.2 percent bump year over the year before. More specifically, that was an increase of 184.4 million McF from the three-quarters point of last year. Washington had more active wells – 1,493 – than any county, a 14.1 jump from 1,308.

Greene ended the third quarter with 560.7 million McF, a rise of 12.9 percent from the same period of 2017. The county had 1,066 active wells through September, a 14 percent rise.

Those three were among nine counties that topped 100 million McF of production during the period.

Filling out the top 10, production-wise, were: Bradford, Wyoming, Lycoming, Tioga, Butler, Sullivan and Allegheny. Westmoreland was 11th, Fayette 12th and Beaver 16th.

Allegheny’s production through September increased by 54.1 percent, to 74.4 million McF from 48.3 million a year earlier. Westmoreland’s production likewise jumped, to 55.4 million McF from 40.4 million (37 percent).

Production in Fayette, however, nosedived from September 2017 – to 48.4 million from 61.4 million.

Slightly less than half – 33 – of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties produced shale gas during the first nine months of 2018.