Shale Gas Production Exceeds 2 Trillion Cubic Feet During 2012

Posted: March 3, 2013

A review of the shale gas production in Pennsylvania
Matt Henderson

Matt Henderson

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released the unconventional production data for the second half of 2012 and once again Pennsylvania witnessed a record level of natural gas production. Production from 3,551 unconventional wells totaled 1.15 trillion cubic feet (TCF) from July through December 2012. There were 176 wells that produced over 1 BCF in the 6 month period with the Heitzenroder well the top producer at 4.5 BCF. Adding production from the first half of 2012 equaling 895 BCF, it helped push natural gas production from unconventional sources to 2.04 TCF.

While the Marcellus and other shale plays have garnered the most attention in terms of gas and oil production, Pennsylvania still has a strong and robust history of conventional oil and gas production. While production from 2012 was slightly down from the previous year, the 57,543 wells that reported conventional production added nearly 194 BCF to Pennsylvania’s output. The recent natural gas production has moved Pennsylvania from the 14th state in the nation in 2010 to the top 5 during 2012.

Oil & Condensate Production

During 2012 the state witnessed a shifting of resources to focus on more of the “wet” gas region in southwest PA and into eastern Ohio. However, when looking at the production totals for oil in the unconventional plays, the second half of 2012 only reported 15,966 barrels of oil production from 8 wells. Compare this to the first half of 2012 when 29 wells reported 49,194 barrels of production. Condensate production reported increased in the second half to 1.1 million barrels compared to 106,000 barrels in the first half of the year. Conventional wells added 2.1 million barrels of oil and 162,056 barrels of condensate for 2012.


Not only has Pennsylvania been increasing its production of natural gas, but consumption has steadily been increasing as well. During 2012, Pennsylvania consumed just over 1 TCF; up from 752 BCF during 2007. Nearly 40% of consumption last year was for electric power generation (390 BCF) up from only 144 BCF in 2007. Industrial and residential users accounted for another 40% during 2012.

Top Producing Counties & Companies

Bradford County has been leading the way in total natural gas production since the start of Marcellus exploration and 2012 was no different. Bradford reported production exceeding 520 BCF accounting for 25% of total production. Susquehanna County was second with 431 BCF followed by Lycoming (230 BCF), Tioga (201 BCF) and Greene (181 BCF). The top 5 counties accounted for 77% of total production in 2012.

Leading the way in yearly production was Chesapeake Energy with 439 BCF (21% total). Rounding out the top 5 for yearly production is Cabot (241 BCF), Talisman (195 BCF), Range (194 BCF) and Anadarko (136 BCF).