Pa. Natural Gas Production Sets Record in 2019, Appalachia “Well Poised” for Growth

Pennsylvania natural gas production in 2019 eclipsed previous records, state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) data revealed earlier this week, as operators continued to safely and more efficiently develop the clean, abundant resource. According to the 2019 Oil and Gas Annual Report, production reached 6.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) throughout the year – marking the Commonwealth’s largest volume to ever be recorded in a single year.

As production continued to rise, the commitment to safety, public health and environmental protection remains strong. Amid nearly 19,000 unconventional well inspections last year, Pennsylvania’s shale operators saw a 98% inspection compliance rate, reflecting an industry-wide commitment to safe and responsible natural gas development.

Water recycling and reuse – technology pioneered in the Pennsylvania nearly a decade ago – rates hit 90 percent, as well, which greatly reduces the need for freshwater withdraws.

“Thanks to the tens of thousands of talented and skilled Pennsylvanians across our industry – who work hard each day to protect our environment and the communities where we are privileged to work – the Commonwealth remains a global natural gas leader,” MSC’s Spigelmyer said. “Natural gas production and water recycling rates continue to break records, which is good for our economy and our environment. And we’re doing so with an exceptional inspection compliance rate, reflecting our commitment to safety, operational excellence and public health. These achievements are enhancing air quality, lowering energy costs for consumers and families, and creating opportunities for good-paying manufacturing jobs.”

DEP’s annual report comes at the heels of a new analysis by Enverus, an independent oil and gas data analytical firm, which projects near-term growth for Appalachia even as the global economy recovers from coronavirus-induced economic headwinds.

This outlook reflects an expected increase in global liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, where the gas produced here in Appalachia – the nation’s largest pure-gas play – can help support environmental goals, drive an economic and manufacturing resurgence, and deliver meaningful benefits for consumers in both America and for our allies abroad.

“For all that happened to oil, to some degree the inverse is true for natural gas, and that’s evident in the Appalachian and Haynesville basins,” Enverus’ Rob McBride said. “Natural gas is well poised for the near future.”