Pennsylvania had a record year for natural gas production in 2018, the state Department of Environmental Protection said on Wednesday.
Unconventional well operators produced 6.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2018 — an increase of .8 trillion cubic feet over 2017 and the largest volume of natural gas produced in Pennsylvania in a single year, according to DEP’s 2018 Oil & Gas Annual Report.
Pennsylvania is the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States, after Texas.
Unconventional wells are those that access large reservoirs of underground natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The first unconventional natural gas well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 2004, according to DEP.
Since then, production levels have steadily risen, requiring more permitting and inspection activities from DEP.
DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said Wednesday that the agency’s internal restructuring and continued expansion of electronic tools has increased permitting and inspection efficiency, shortened waiting periods and improved oversight of natural gas producers.
“Gov. (Tom) Wolf and DEP have made permitting and inspection efficiency a priority — reducing overall permit backlog by more than 90% since 2016 and improving inspection efficiency while ensuring compliance with our environmental regulations,” McDonnell said. (July 11, 2019)
UNITED STATES - Natural Gas - Production