PA 2016 Natural Gas Production Tops 5 Trillion Cubic Feet

March 9, 2017

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, Pennsylvania natural gas production exceeded 5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) for 2016. This is a new record for the Commonwealth, is quadruple the amount produced in just 2011, and represents roughly a fifth of all natural gas produced in the United States last year.

Pennsylvania has not historically been a major natural gas producer, but today it is the country’s second-largest producing state. Its new position within the ranks of natural gas producing states only dates back a few years to the dawn of the shale gas revolution. For perspective, the amount of natural gas Pennsylvania produced in 2016 is greater than the state’s total 30-year production from 1980 through 2010!

The Bad News

The growth of regional pipeline capacity has not kept the same pace as natural gas production. Subsequently, natural gas is priced very low where it’s produced, but due to pipeline system constraints, those low prices are not always reaching the region’s populated areas – especially in periods of high demand.

The Good News

The region’s constrained system will be alleviated – and its economy energized – when PennEast comes into service. PennEast will directly access Pennsylvania’s robust natural gas production and its abundant low-cost reserves, thereby providing hundreds of millions in cost savings for both electric and natural gas customers.

More Good News

Natural gas prices drive electricity prices. So not only is low-priced natural gas good for gas consumers, but there are also significant benefits to every electric consumer as well. And since natural gas has replaced many retiring coal fired power plants, the air is cleaner, carbon emissions are at their lowest in 25 years, and subsequently the U.S. is leading the world in carbon emission reductions.