Marcellus gas production continues to grow, report says - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Marcellus gas production continues to grow, report says

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Natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale region of West Virginia and Pennsylvania topped 10 billion cubic feet per day in March of this year and has remained there ever since, according to a report issued Oct. 22 by the Energy Information Administration.

The information was contained in the first monthly Drilling Productivity Report issued by the EIA for six regions that produce oil and gas from shale: Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara and Permian.

"Although natural gas production increased in 4 of the 6 DPR regions over the past year and the latest month, the Marcellus alone accounts for about 75% of natural gas production growth in the 6 regions over both periods," the EIA said in releasing the first report.

The data show the number of rigs working in the Marcellus region peaked at 144 in January 2012. As of Sept. 1, 2013, the number was down to 97.

Production from new wells is offsetting the normal decline seen from older wells, also known as legacy wells. The EIA defines a legacy well as one that has been in production for more than one month.

Production from legacy wells in the Marcellus region has been falling about 169 million to 170 million cubic feet per day in recent months, but production from new wells more than offsets that.