Energy Updates: Marcellus Shale Gas Production Doubles and the Shale Boom Spreads to Russia
1. The shale gas boom continues in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region, with output doubling this year during the January-June period compared to the same period in 2011, and energy industry jobs in Pennsylvania increasing by 150% from 2009 to 2011. Here are some details:
Despite low prices and a new tax on the industry, natural gas production in Pennsylvania has doubled in the past year. Drillers operating in Pennsylvania’s expansive Marcellus Shale gas field extracted 895 billion cubic feet of gas during the first six months of 2012, according to figures released by the state Department of Environmental Protection. That’s up from about 435 billion cubic feet during the same period in 2011 (see chart above).
The data are evidence that – despite near record-low prices for natural gas that have caused some companies to slow production and the creation of a new state tax on extracting natural gas – the Marcellus Shale boom is continuing in Pennsylvania.
Patrick Creighton, spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, said the increased drilling was creating jobs, benefiting consumers with lower utility bills and helping the manufacturing sector. “These production reports are proof positive that … Marcellus Shale holds tremendous potential for decades to come,” he said.
The gas drilling industry supports more than 238,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, and has seen job growth jump by 150 percent for the three years ending in 2011. Job growth across all other sectors in the state declined for the same period, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.