Pennsylvania Remains a Top Producer of Natural Gas

Natural GasImage by Magnascan

PENNSYLVANIA — The 2021 Oil and Gas Annual Report released recently by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows that production and compliance inspections increased in 2021. Pennsylvania continues to be the second largest producer of natural gas in the nation, behind Texas.

“In 2021, DEP remained committed to enforcing violations of the oil and gas industry,” said DEP Acting Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “Governor Wolf and DEP continued their priority of maintaining environmental protection for Pennsylvania’s residents and visitors.”

The report notes that DEP personnel completed 34,145 compliance inspections at conventional and unconventional well sites in 2021, about 8,262 more than in 2020. All inspections continue to be done electronically.

DEP issued 770 unconventional well permits in 2021, about 150 fewer than the previous year. Sustained low commodity prices coupled with longer wellbores contributed to a decline in permit applications. An interactive map shows well drilling locations by county.

In 2021, more than 7.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was produced from unconventional and conventional gas wells in Pennsylvania. This represents the largest volume of natural gas on record that has been produced in Pennsylvania in a single year. In 2021, there was 7,572,916,109 cubic feet of natural gas produced from unconventional wells, and 76,454,176 cubic feet of natural gas produced from conventional wells. In 2020, data confirmed that 7,091,486,278 cubic feet of natural gas was produced from unconventional wells and 83,837,607 cubic feet of natural gas was produced from conventional wells.

The interactive, multimedia annual report offers several levels of data: the year in review; deeper detail and historical data; and educational overviews of drilling and the regulatory process statewide. For example, users can compare how much gas was produced over the past 10 years, and drill down to see production by an individual well.

The annual report also features a section on the many ways the public can stay up-to-date on regulations, for example, by signing up for email notifications or attending Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board Meetings in person or by webinar.

The Wolf Administration also made public a report requested by Governor Tom Wolf detailing the compliance records of conventional oil and gas producers. The report was requested in the July 19, 2022, Lapsing Statement that accompanied HB 2644. The report reviewed compliance among conventional oil and gas operators, evaluated options for ensuring compliance, and provided recommendations for possible reforms. The report can be found here.

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