Pa. Drives Increase in U.S. Natural Gas Abundance

Pennsylvania continues to lead America’s energy revolution, driving the increase in proved natural gas reserves, according to newly released government data. The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) report shows the keystone state “had the second-largest total natural gas reserves in 2014” and added 10.4 trillion cubic feet of proved reserves thanks to the “continued development of the Marcellus Shale.” What’s more, Pennsylvania’s proved natural gas reserves surpassed Texas’ for the first time.

Key EIA report takeaways:

  • U.S. natural gas proved reserves increased in 2014 by 34.8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) (up 10%) to a record level of 388.8 Tcf feet.
  • Pa. had the second-largest total natural gas reserves in 2014 at 60.4 Tcf.
  • Pa. had the biggest increase in natural gas reserves, as operators added 10.4 Tcf of natural gas, driven by continued development of the Marcellus Shale natural gas play.
  • Pa. had the most shale gas proved reserves in 2014, surpassing Texas for the first time.

Make no mistake, consumers and regional manufacturers are directly benefitting from the Commonwealth’s abundant energy resources. As we brace for winter, EIA projects home heating costs will be the lowest in the past two winters, thanks in large part to shale. And, as the MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer underscored during a recent radio interview, affordable and reliable natural gas is driving a regional manufacturing rebirth:

“Let’s face it, we’ve been writing the obituary for Pa.’s manufacturing industry for the last three or four decades. But now with affordable abundant natural gas, we have the ability to write the birth announcement for manufacturing our region.”

Yet some in Harrisburg are pushing for even higher energy taxes that jeopardize good-paying jobs and threaten shale’s economic and environmental benefits. But to ensure these benefits tied to natural gas are maximized, we have to ensure that we get the Commonwealth’s regulatory, tax and overall policy equation right.

Here’s what they’re saying:

ABUNDANT SHALE RESOURCES

  • “Pa.’s Marcellus Drives Nation’s Proven Gas Reserves”: Nationwide, the amount of gas that producers can afford to get out of the ground, broke records in 2014, topping 388 trillion cubic feet, according to a new EIA report. A big chunk of these proven natural gas reserves came from Pa., who added 10.4 trillion cubic feet of gas to 2014’s totals. For the first time, natural gas from shale formations represents more than half of all proven U.S. gas reserves. (StateImpact, 11/23/15)
  • “Marcellus Contributed Most to Increase in Gas Reserves”: Reserves of oil and natural gas in the U.S. shot higher last year…setting records that reveal the extent to which a decade-long drilling boom has transformed the energy landscape. Proved reserves of natural gas rose by 34.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf), to a record high of 388.8 tcf in 2014. … EIA describes proved reserves as oil and gas that can be extracted using current technology and under today’s economic conditions. The increases, which were the sixth in a row, were driven by prolific production from shale plays. … The Marcellus in Pa., which currently produces about 20% of the country’s natural gas, contributed most to the increase in gas reserves, adding 10 tcf of proved reserves. (Reuters, 11/23/15)

CONSUMER, MANUFACTURING BENEFITS

  • Shale Development = Consumer Savings: Low gas prices are expected to stay through the new year, thanks to fracking. … “Fracking is increasing the supply of natural gas and oil,” said Tony Via of Kent State. … “I hope it stays down for us for a while. It makes it easier for me [to fill my tank] because I make minimum wage,” said Regina Gouch, a Wayland resident who added that she is saving $20 a week at the pump. (WEWS, 11/19/15)
  • Shale Delivers Economic Boost: Dave Brocious with the MSC provided an update on the energy industry. … The historically low price of natural gas translates into significant savings on utility rates for consumers, with the average consumer saving about $1,200 per year compared to rates in 2008. … “There are many projects coming on line and being evaluated for various end-use industries such as the power generation segment, petro-chemical and other manufacturing uses. The big win for Pa. is to see the rebirth of our manufacturing industry right here in our backyard due to the low cost of energy that shale provides.” (Indiana Gazette, 11/22/15)

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