Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Key Pennsylvania Marcellus Well 2011 Facts

During 2011, Pennsylvania issued 3281 permits for Marcellus shale wells in 36 counties.

The top 5 counties in order were Bradford (735 permits); Tioga (372); Susquehanna (338); Lycoming (326); and Washington (247). These 5 counties accounted for 2018 of the total permits issued or 61%. One hundred or more permits were issued in 10 counties. Well permits are being issued in more than half of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, while currently 10 counties account for just less than two-thirds of all activity.

The drilling activity will continue for decades across Pennsylvania. For example Bradford county leads in permits issued and had essentially twice as many issued there as second place Tioga. Yet drilling in Bradford for Marcellus may continue for 12 years by some estimates. In Bradford and other counties drilling development began at 1906 well-sites during 2011.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued 1090 violations at Marcellus gas well sites during 2011 or about 8% less than in 2010. This level of activity is found in other parts of America and explains why gas fell below $3 during the middle of winter.


  1. John, how do you feel about the French buying out Chesapeake Energy in Ohio?? Coming soon to PA?

  2. A number of companies headquarterd outside of the USA have bought interests in PA gas. Statoil, the Norwegian national oil and gas company, has a partnership with Chesapeake. There are several other prominent examples.

  3. Ultimately, it's a good investment based on the BTU-price disparity between natural gas and crude oil that I think you have pointed out previously, John. It's going to happen (as is export of LNG) simply because the fuel is so inexpensive compared to liquid petroleum, and there is only so much available capital in the US.

  4. Concerned ScientistJanuary 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Total bought in for 25% of Chespaeake's position there, they didn't buy them out. They are looking to develop natural gas liquids which are worth more than natural gas at the moment.