Soaring Marcellus Production Creating Long-Term, Regional Benefits

As responsible Marcellus Shale production continues to soar, so do the long-term, local benefits and investments that come with it. These huge strides in American shale production — which are “driven by drilling efficiency,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) — are strengthening our nation’s energy security and boosting our economy.

But just how much natural gas is the Marcellus producing relative to other nations? Great question. This from a Platts story yesterday under the headline “Marcellus production tops Saudi Arabia, China” (Pittsburgh Business Times & Post-Gazette also report):

  • If the Marcellus Shale were a country, its gas output would rank seventh in the world, surpassing Saudi Arabia, China and Norway.
  • And if trends in EIA’s March monthly drilling productivity report hold up, Marcellus production will surpass Canada before the end of this year, leaving only Iran, Qatar, and the Russian Federation as larger producers.
  • Marcellus gas production has grown 736% since the play took off in 2008, according to EIA data.
  • Year-over-year, the Marcellus is expected to see the greatest increase in gas production at about 38%, according to EIA.

And what are these benefits? Another great question. This week, MSC member Noble Energy, Inc. – a joint venture partner with CONSOL Energy in the Marcellus – announced that it is building a new regional headquarters in Washington County, which will create and support even more local jobs and support the company’s continued growth.

Here is what local media outlets are saying about the announcement:

  • “Noble Energy sinks roots into Pittsburgh”: Dropping an anchor in Pittsburgh was an easy choice for executives at Noble Energy Inc. … The Marcellus “is quickly shaping up to be a world-class play,” said Bob Ovitz, senior operations manager for Noble’s Marcellus business unit. “Southpointe is sort of the nexus, the epicenter of what’s going on out here. … This is a great regional hub for the industry.” … It’s a unique opportunity for the region, putting Pittsburgh atop the Appalachian energy industry’s supply chain, economic experts said. … “Any firm that has hopes of being part of the natural gas revolution in the United States…is going to want to be a regional presence (here), with people on the ground who understand the marketplace in Pittsburgh.” … “This is an asset base here for decades to come. … This is a really prime piece of what is likely to be the most prolific gas field in the world.” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/10/14)
  • “Noble Energy to open regional HQ”: Noble President and COO David Stover recalled when the Houston, Texas-based company arrived here in late 2011 and took office space for a dozen employees; on his first visit he saw “a card table with a bunch of phones on it and a sign that said, ‘Open for Business.’” … Today, he said, Noble has nearly 150 employees and will have close to 200 by the end of the year. … According to Stover, since it arrived here, 86 percent of Noble’s hires have been from Southwestern Pennsylvania. He added that Noble expects to keep growing its operations here, noting that its new space can accommodate 400 employees. David Spigelmyer, president of Marcellus Shale Coalition, noted that in 2008, Pennsylvania’s annual natural gas production was 182 billion cubic feet. Today, he said the industry produces 14 billion cubic feet per day and 5 trillion cubic feet annually. “Twenty percent of the (U.S.) natural gas supply is now coming from the Appalachian Basin,” he said. (Washington Observer-Reporter, 3/11/14)
  • “Noble Energy expects strong growth from Marcellus”: Noble Energy made official its new regional headquarters at Southpointe as the Houston-based energy firm makes a big office commitment to match what it expects will be aggressive growth in the Marcellus Shale. … “We thought this was the premiere gas play in the United States,” said Noble Energy President and Chief Operating Officer David Stover, a Sarver native and Penn State grad. “In that two and a half years, nothing has changed our mind.” Marcellus operations contributed 9 percent of Noble’s total sales volumes and expects production to grow by 46 percent. Stover told an assembled crowd near the Southpointe project that Noble expects to employ nearly 200 people at Southpointe by the end of the year. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 3/11/14)

Please visit our website to learn more facts about safe, tightly-regulated shale development. And follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for updates, news and information.