Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Monthly Reports Improve Value of Marcellus Data

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Monthly Reports Improve Value of Marcellus Data

Article excerpt

Pennsylvania has gathered just two rounds of new monthly natural gas production reports from Marcellus Shale operators, but analysts say the more timely data has already become a valuable resource for tracking shifts in the nation's dominant shale gas field.

Operators of Marcellus Shale and other unconventional wells began submitting monthly production reports to the state at the end of March after Pennsylvania passed a law last year to increase the frequency of reporting. Instead of once every six months, the reports are now to monthly. The change was intended to better correspond with the details reported on leaseholders' royalty checks.

February numbers, due last week, show continued growth in average daily production compared to January. Companies reported producing nearly 12.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day in February, up slightly from nearly 12.6 Bcf/d the month before.

Natural gas liquids production also rose, growing from 13,400 barrels per day in January to 15,500 barrels per day in February.

Northeastern Pennsylvania counties continued to lead in natural gas production, while Washington County produced the largest share of the state's natural gas liquids, which include ethane, oil and condensate recovered from some shale formations.

Shorter intervals between production reports provide analysts with much clearer information than could be gleaned from reports that used to arrive in six-month chunks.

"It does give you much more of a real-time look in terms of what production is doing," said Mark Hanson, an energy analyst with Morningstar.

Because the Marcellus Shale is a critical component of U.S. gas production, he said, subtle indicators of the region's performance help inform decisions for a host of interested groups: landowners, banks, exploration and production companies, pipeline companies and financial analysts among them. …

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