The Marcellus Shale| November 2020
The Marcellus Shale is the largest gas play onshore in the US. Located in the Northeast, it supplies the high demand markets along the East Coast. Most of the basin’s gas is produced through unconventional methods, while the little oil produced is mostly by conventional means. Some of the top formations include Onondaga and the Huntersville.
State Drilling Statistics (End of November)
Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 27
Total Rigs in Pennsylvania- 20
Total Rigs in United States- 320
Total U.S. Rigs down 60% YTD
Bakken Top Producers
Top Gas Producer- Cabot Oil & Corp.
Top Condensate Producer- Range Resources Appalachia LLC
Regulatory issues are cropping up in Pennsylvania thanks to the differences in conventional and unconventional drilling. Legacy producers in Pennsylvania have typically been operating under the guidance of the Oil and Gas act of 1984. Once unconventional production began to take off, Act 13 was introduced in 2012 to better regulate this new production method. Unfortunately, some of the regulatory requirements also apply to the conventional reservoirs and operators claim it provides additional burdens. The state general assembly sent a new bill to Tom Wolf that tried to separate these shallow unconventional wells from the deeper conventional plays. Unfortunately, Wolf vetoed the bill expressing concern with diluting environmental regulations. This comes off the back of 4 years of work between the Department of Environmental Protection and Crude Oil Development Advisory Council as they search for regulations that are fair for all types of production. Time will tell if proposed legislation will ever be adopted to address these differences.
Wastewater manager Eureka Resources has recently received a patent for its wastewater treatment process that allows lithium extraction. Rather than reinjecting wastewater with potentially valuable components, Eureka Resources strips the lithium from the water and predicts this process could provide 25% of domestic demand from the Marcellus region. At present, Eureka extracts lithium, salt, oil, and methanol from wastewater to guarantee maximum returns and minimize potential to inject toxic or harmful wastewater into producing formations. Right now, they operate in the Marcellus, but hope to expand into the Permian, Bakken, Haynesville, and Barnett basins by 2023. Because the water is so clean, Eureka is able to recharge impaired aquifers, creeks, rivers, and lakes which it has been doing in Pennsylvania for more than twelve years under the watchful eye of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Top Gas Producers (2020 cum)
Top Condensate Producers (2020 cum)
Top Oil Producers (2020 cum)
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