The Marcellus Shale| September 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 September)
Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 26
Total Rigs in Pennsylvania- 19
Total Rigs in United States- 261
Total U.S. Rigs down 70% YTD
Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection released its 2019 Oil and Gas Annual Report, which highlights accomplishments of the past and goals for the future. In 2019, Pennsylvania was the second largest natural gas producer in the US only lagging behind Texas and producing just shy of 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This is the largest production of natural gas in a single year. On the downside, the DEP was forced to issue 83 Notices of Violation to unconventional operators not reporting production data. Not bad when compared to the conventional operators who racked up 3,363 of the same notices. This resulted in $4 million in fines and penalties which prompted 500 operators to use DEP’s online electric oil and gas applications. In other good metrics, 90 percent of the produced fluids were reused or recycled. All around responsible and safe year for Pennsylvanian producers.
What Does Biden Want?
As election draws nearer, voters ask for presidential policies to be clearer. Biden has separated himself from the party’s Green New Deal, but his running mate is a Californian who has vowed to ban hydraulic fracturing. This middle of the road stance is unsettling for many voters, especially those swing states that produce oil and gas such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. Anti-hydraulic fracturing claims have scared these regions, and even those that don’t produce any form of hydrocarbons. Domestic energy independence seems to be important to voters, and Trump has played off of that so far. Biden has made claims ranging from no banning to “ending fossil fuels.” The debates definitely hold potential for Biden to clear his stance, but more pressing issues may take precedence.
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