Pennsylvania in 2016 sets record for natural gas production

Natural gas production in Pennsylvania hit an all-time high in 2016, Kallanish Energy understands.

The state produced 5.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) from horizontal wells, plus 107 billion cubic feet (Bcf) from conventional, vertical-only wells, said the Department of Environmental Protection in a new annual report.

Pennsylvania is No. 2 in the U.S. for natural gas production, trailing only Texas.

The state’s horizontal production came from 7,143 wells in the Marcellus Shale. The conventional production came from 56,706 wells.

Pennsylvania also produced 1.1 million barrels (MMBbl) of oil/condensate in 2016, from 16,721 wells.

In 2016, Pennsylvania approved 1,321 horizontal permits, plus 158 conventional permits.

DEP said the number of unconventional permits has dropped 59% since 2014, due largely to lower prices for commodities and less drilling in Pennsylvania.

The number of unconventional well permits issued was 3,182 in 2014 and 2,081 in 2015.

The agency said 504 unconventional wells were drilled in 2016, plus 92 conventional wells. The number of unconventional wells drilled was the lowest since 2008, DEP said.

Overall, Pennsylvania has 10,109 horizontal wells and 193,645 conventional vertical-only wells, the agency reported.

The state agency also conducted 35,556 site inspections, more than doubling the 16,504 inspections in 2010.

“Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country and one of the most transparent states in making oil and gas data publicly accessible,” said DEP acting secretary Patrick McDonnell, in a statement.

The report was published electronically for the first time. It is available at