Natural Gas Production

How much natural gas is being produced from horizontal drilling (HD) and high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in both Lawrence and Mercer Counties? The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has natural gas production reports available for public access on the internet (see links below). Data on the quantity of gas (Mcf, 1000 cubic feet) began in 2012 for Lawrence County and in 2013 for Mercer County.

The data were obtained from the PADEP Oil and Gas Public Reporting Application on 8/8/2015. Since 2012, a steady increasing trend in the quantity of natural gas can be observed (Figure 1). As of 2015, Lawrence County is generated nearly three times more natural gas than Mercer County.

Figure 1: Natural gas production in Lawrence and Mercer Counties as of August 2015; (a) January - June (b) July - December.

Because several unconventional wells have been designated with the same well number in Lawrence and Mercer Counties, the well numbers were altered to more appropriately observe the trends in the data (Figure 2.) For example, there are several unconventional wells designed as "3H" within both counties. Farm name abbreviations were placed in this well number to better differentiate each gas well. A number code system was also generated to show which well belongs to which wellpad (seen in Figure 2). The data indicate that while many unconventional wells are labeled as "Active" in the PADEP SPUD Reports, many wellpads have several wells that have no data on the gas quantities being generated.

Figure 2. Natural gas production for every unconventional well within Lawrence and Mercer County.

By: Tyler Umstead
Last edited: 8/9/2015