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    Pennsylvania, Permian Gas at Record High: Rystad


Most large producers increased output in August

by: Dale Lunan

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Pennsylvania, Permian Gas at Record High: Rystad

Gross gas production in Pennsylvania – the largest part of the Marcellus shale gas basin – and in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico “probably” hit record highs in August, Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy said in an October 30 report.

“With nearly complete reported data coverage for August, we see another month of material additions of about 500mn ft3/d,” it said. “This puts Pennsylvania’s total shale gas output above 19.8bn ft3/d in August, 100mn ft3/d higher than the previous record from November 2019.”

Associated gas output from the Permian also rebounded to record levels in New Mexico and surpassed the previous high in Texas, Rystad said. Basin-wide, production at the end of August was estimated at 16.84bn ft3/d, the report said, surpassing the previous record in March 2020 by 70mn ft3/d.

“The new record-high gross gas production in the Permian Basin does not automatically mean dry gas production will also be at a record,” cautioned Artem Abramov, Rystad’s head of shale research. “On one hand, flared gas volumes have gone down substantially since the first quarter (while) on the other hand, we are seeing a substantial increase in the use of unprocessed gas for gas-lift purposes, which compensates for the reduction in flaring.”

For context, data contained within the latest Natural Gas Weekly Update posted by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) put August dry gas production from the Marcellus, across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York, at 24.1bn ft3/d and from the Permian, across Texas and New Mexico, at about 11.2bn ft3/d. In March, the EIA said, Marcellus production was 23.4bn ft3/d while Permian output was 11.7bn ft3/d.

Most large producers in Pennsylvania, Rystad said, increased production in August, on both a year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter basis. EQT, the largest gas producer in the US, produced 3.7bn ft3/d in the state in August, a 13-14% increase over the previous three months and year earlier, while Chesapeake Energy, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, saw Pennsylvania gas output increase nearly 10% between May and August.