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Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Taking a voyage across the world of energy with ClipperData’s Director of Commodity Research. Follow on Twitter @ClipperData, @mattvsmith01

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10 Things to Consider about the Marcellus Shale

For today, my friends, we are going to talk about the crazy cat that is the Marcellus Shale, via ten different considerations. So let’s get this show on the road, and start the countdown from ten to one:

10) If the Marcellus Shale were a country, it would rank 8th in the world in terms of natural gas production, producing more than Saudi Arabia

9) The Marcellus Shale produces about 13 Bcf a day, up from 2 Bcf a day in 2010. This is approximately 18% of total US production

8) Given the nutty ramp up in the Marcellus Shale, this accordingly puts Pennsylvania as the fastest-growing state in terms of natural gas production. It is also set to take the #2 spot in terms of total production, behind Texas:

Natural Gas Production in Top Ten States

7) While the Marcellus Shale stretches 95,000 square miles across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, over 80% of production comes from Pennsylvania, with the rest mostly from West Virginia

Related article: Natural Gas Pipeline Bottlenecks Lead to Price Spikes in New England

6) Approximately 0% of production comes from New York, as it has a moratorium in place on hydraulic fracturing, and has done for five and a half years. Governor Cuomo commissioned a health study on fracking 15 months ago, with the delayed results expected this year

5) Even though the rig count has dropped off at the Marcellus Shale (just as it has done on a national basis), natural gas production per rig is ramping up at such a pace that the natural gas rig count has become increasingly irrelevant (just as it has done on a national basis). Efficiency a-go-go:

New Well Gas Production per Rig

4) Marcellus is blowing the doors off all expectations. Some experts expected it to have peaked by now, while some (such as Terry Engelder) are seeing their seemingly outlandish projections surpassed. Then there are others, such as Chris Faulkner (aka the ‘Frack Master‘), who are projecting even better times ahead…we could see over 20 Bcf a day from the Marcellus by 2020

3) The Marcellus Shale will most likely benefit the natural gas consumers in the New York / New Jersey area in the coming years, as multiple pipeline expansion projects are focused on transporting gas into that area. That said, the impact to consumers in New England is expected to be limited

Related article: Oman and BP Finalize Gas Deal, Signaling Regional Change

2) Who sees the least benefit from the Marcellus Shale? Other areas of the US. This is because it is displacing net inflows from other regions such as the Gulf of Mexico, the Midwest, and Canada. Net natural gas inflows into the Northeast from Eastern Canada have dropped by 82% since 2008, and are down 56% from the Southeast:

Natural Gas Inflows

1) And we reach number one! Simply, Marcellus is the number one in terms of natural gas shale plays:

Natural Gas Production

As always, thanks for playing. I apologize for been errant recently…I’ve been getting my new venture underway. But my New Year’s resolution is to blog more again, because frankly, I miss it. So…viva la burrito! (and viva The DailyD too! – click on the below for a free one-month trial). Til the next post (soon!), rock on.

By. Matt Smith


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Leave a comment
  • Mike Foster on February 20 2015 said:
    Hey Matt,

    Can you revisit this article now that it is a year latter?

    The PA Rig Count has been at 54 for the last six weeks while rig counts in other regions including the Utica have fallen.

    Will we we a plateau in Marcellus production by 2016 or is it going to continue to the moon?

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