Appalachian Basin sees production flatten

EIA: Four key counties saw production decline in 2022

Natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin—which accounts for 29% of U.S. supply—remained flat in 2022, according to new figures for the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA said that production from a group of four key Pennsylvania counties declined during the year. The Susquehanna, Washington, Bradford, and Greene counties produced 40%—13.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d)—of the 34.7 Bcf/d of natural gas produced in the Appalachian Basin in 2022. The 13.9 Bcf/d produced in the four counties last year represents a 3% decline compared with output in 2021. The basin, home to the Marcellus shale formation, had seen increases in production every year since 2010.

Productivity declines and limits on natural gas takeaway capacity resulted in a 0.4 Bcf/d decrease in Pennsylvania’s total natural gas production in 2023, according to the EIA. Until last year, output had increased every year since 2013 on the back of drilling efficiency gains. One measure of drilling efficiency is the average volume of natural gas produced in wells during the first six months of drilling. Drilling efficiency at Pennsylvania’s natural gas wells increased every year since 2013 before declining for the first time in 2022.

A combined 207 counties across 8 states produced the remaining 60% of natural gas. The Appalachian Basin is the largest natural gas-producing region in the United States.

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