Natural Gas Operators Maintain Strong Regulatory Compliance Amid Production Jump

Pennsylvania natural gas production hit all-time highs last year and energy operators maintained a strong 95% regulatory compliance rate, according to the Department of Environmental Protection’s Oil & Gas Annual report. The results, released Friday, illustrate the continued efforts made by the industry to safely and responsibly produce abundant, clean-burning natural gas.

Commenting on the report, MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer highlighted the industry’s commitment to responsible and efficient development:

“As an industry deeply committed to safety above all else, we’re very pleased with this 95 percent regulatory compliance rate yet also focused on continuously improving our performance… Pennsylvania’s strong energy regulations ensure our environment is protected as we safely produce more clean-burning natural gas that’s powering our economy, cleaning our air and moving America forward.”

The DEP report comes on the heels of news from the Energy Information Administration that recognized Appalachia as one of three regions driving U.S. gas production. The Marcellus and Utica shale plays were accountable for nearly one third of the total domestic natural gas production in July, thanks largely to recent expansion of the region’s infrastructure that has allowed for more efficient and cost-effective energy transportation.

2017 Unconventional Wells Drilled by County

Here’s Four Fast Facts from DEP’s 2017 Annual Report:   

  • Record-Breaking Production: A record 5.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was produced by unconventional wells – a quarter trillion increase from 2016.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Unconventional operators maintained a strong 95% compliance rate, as operations picked up and annual inspections topped an all-time-high.
  • Permitting Increase: 2,028 unconventional well permits were issued – 707 more than 2016.
  • Safe & Responsible: There continues to be “no evidence that hydraulic fracturing has resulted in a direct impact to a water supply in Pennsylvania.”

Learn more about safe, responsible natural gas development by visiting MSC’s Blog and downloading our Recommended Practices.