Drilling into the Marcellus Shale has become one of the biggest economic and environmental events in the 21st century. The U.S uses about 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas each year, and 100 to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is yet to be explored. Cabot is doing their part to help Pennsylvania become the largest gas-producing state in the country by producing a record 1.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas per day. I think we can pretty much agree that natural gas is here to stay.
According to the 2012 Natural Gas Annual, Pennsylvania’s marketed natural gas production grew by 72% between 2011 and 2012 making it the third largest gas-producing state in the country. Preliminary data and estimates from the Drilling Productivity Report indicated that continued Marcellus production may result in Pennsylvania becoming the second-largest producer in 2013. Pennsylvania also saw the largest volume and percentage increases in marketed gas.
West Virginia, which is also located in the Marcellus Shale play, joined the ranks of the top 10 largest U.S. producers for the first time in 2012, producing 146 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of additional marketed gas compared with the 2011 level. Production in the Marcellus region has grown so much so that spot prices in the Northeast may continue to drop further below the Henry Hub spot price in the future. Texas, home to the Eagle Ford Shale play, grew 5% year-on-year, and stands as the largest gas-producing state by far.
A few states experienced drops in production levels between 2011 and 2012. Wyoming fell two places in the marketed natural gas production ranking, from number three to number five. Federal offshore production, which includes federal production from both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean (California), also fell in the ranking, from number five to number seven. Federal Gulf of Mexico natural gas production has generally declined since 2001, and federal Pacific offshore production has declined since 2002.