In 2011, Pennsylvania produces 1.042 trillion cubic feet of gas, making the Commonwealth one of the nation's biggest and most important gas producing states. Pennsylvania gas production has increased more than five-fold since 2006.
In the last 6 months of 2011, Pennsylvania produced 607 billion cubic feet of gas, a significant increase over the 435 billion cubic feet of gas produced in the first 6 months of 2011.
Production in 2012 will likely increase again, despite a slow down in drilling of new wells in dry gas areas, because more wells already drilled will be connected to pipelines and more gas will flow to market. But the reduction of gas rigs in Pennsylvania by companies like Chesapeake Energy and Talisman will have an impact this year. The 2012 production will be lower than it would have been had gas prices remained at $4 or higher for a thousand cubic feet.
How long can gas prices remain below $4? Since few people even 12 months ago forecast gas prices falling to $2.50, answering that question requires humility and heads into the unknown. External factors like weather and possible shocks to the US economy from a war with Iran or a deep European recession impact gas prices. I would only say prices are going to rise and not in the distant future.
More clear is that Pennsylvania production gains are a major reason that gas prices have crashed, and why gas and electricity consumers around the country have seen substantial savings in the last 24 months.