Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Production Up 12% over May 2014

Marcellus Shale natural gas production

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released its “Drilling Productivity Report” on June 8, 2015. The EIA estimates that Marcellus Shale natural gas production totaled 16.5 Bcf (billion cubic feet) per day in May. That’s nearly the same as April’s production level and 12.1% greater than production a year ago.

Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Production Up 12% over May 2014

Gas production per rig

The number of active rigs in the Marcellus shale decreased from 83 in April to 78 in May. A year ago, there were 101 drilling rigs in the region.

In May, the Marcellus Shale produced 8.1 million cubic feet per day per rig, a 7% gain in production per rig since May 2014.

What it means for Marcellus producers

Muted natural gas production growth at the Marcellus Shale may negatively affect major oil and gas producers in this region. These producers include EQT (EQT), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), and Consol Energy (CNX).

EQT makes up 0.84% of the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE). CNX forms 0.03% of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY).

Importance of the Marcellus Shale

Natural gas production at the Marcellus Shale increased from 1.2 Bcf per day in May 2007 to 16.49 Bcf per day in May 2015. That’s 12.7 times the production in eight years. Currently, the Marcellus Shale accounts for 36% of total natural gas production at the seven major US shales.

Largest shale gas basin

According to the EIA, the Marcellus Shale is the biggest-producing shale gas basin in the United States. The Marcellus Shale runs through western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and West Virginia. The resource play has a mix of oil and gas reserves.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at drilling efficiency at the Eagle Ford Shale.