In 2017, Pennsylvania produced 5.46 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, averaging a record 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Compared to 2016, this is a 3% increase. Nationally, Pennsylvania provided 19% of the total marketed natural gas production, only second to Texas.
The top three counties in permitting and rig counts in 2017 were Washington, Greene and Susquehanna counties. They made up 1,151 of the total permits count of 2,018 and two-thirds of the active rigs in the state. Natural gas production from the southwestern corner of the state where Washington and Greene counties are located, are higher in natural gas liquids, which enhances the value of gas extracted. Susquehanna County’s gas productivity has increased over the last five years, which has led to further drilling activity.
Bradford County was one of the top three county natural gas producers in 2017, behind Susquehanna and Washington Counties. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts natural gas production will continue to increase in the Appalachian basin, and additional pipeline capacity may be needed. While the Rockies Express Zone 3 expansion came onboard in October 2016 to move natural gas westward from southwestern Pennsylvania, and the Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline was operating in December 2016 to move product from northeastern Pennsylvania to New England, there is still a need for additional pipeline. The Rover Pipeline and the NEXUS Gas Transmission projects are both slated to begin operations this year, adding an additional capacity of 4.75 Bcf/d. Both pipelines would move gas from the western Pennsylvania/Ohio to Michigan.