The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energizing Pennsylvania

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 19, 2016

Sitting atop the prolific Marcellus and Utica shale plays, Pennsylvania is a natural gas production powerhouse – thanks to modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Pennsylvania energizing one pager: thumbnail

Click on the thumbnail for a two-page energy infographic for the Keystone State.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the two plays provided 85 percent of U.S. shale gas production growth since the start of 2012, reflecting the blossoming production from shale and other tight-rock formations through safe fracking.

Those plays stretch into other states as well. But much of the reserves are in Pennsylvania, which in 2015 was second only to Texas in marketed natural gas production (more than 4.7 billion cubic feet). Here’s what the shale energy renaissance looks like in the commonwealth:


gas

No less remarkable is increasing Marcellus production despite having fewer drilling rigs in action, pointing to increased operator efficiency. This is seen in the graph below from EIA’s latest productivity report:

marcellus_productivity

Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania used more natural gas (27.3 percent) than any other fuel in 2014, according to EIA. The agency also reports that 51 percent of households in the commonwealth used gas as their primary heating fuel that year. In 2015, natural gas accounted for 27.4 percent of Pennsylvania’s net electricity generation, right behind nuclear and coal.

Natural gas production in Pennsylvania and other states is making gas more available and affordable. EIA projects that this year, for the first time ever, natural gas will be the country’s leading fuel for electricity generation. Because natural gas is cleaner burning, increasing use of gas is the main reason the U.S. is leading the world in carbon emissions reductions.

America’s shale energy revolution, on vivid display in Pennsylvania, has made the U.S. the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas – boosting our economy, generating energy savings for consumers and making our country more secure in the world. To sustain and expand U.S. energy production we need pro-development policies. A chart on Page 2 of the infographic shows the benefits of a pro-energy path, contrasted with the potential negative impacts of policies characterized by regulatory constraints.

Energy is essential for virtually every aspect of our daily lives. It powers national, state and local economies, gets us to work and goes into products we rely on for health and comfort. Safe, responsible energy development here at home is linked to national security as well as Americans’ individual prosperity and liberty – in Pennsylvania and all the 50 states of energy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.