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Appalachia region drives growth in U.S. natural gas production since 2012
Shale gas production in the Appalachia region has increased rapidly since 2012, driving an overall increase in U.S. natural gas production. According to the Energy Information Administration's Drilling Productivity Report, natural gas production in the Appalachia region - namely the Marcellus and Utica shale plays - has increased by more than 14 billion cubic feet per day since 2012. Overall Appalachian natural gas production grew from 7.8 Bcf/d in 2012 to 22.1 Bcf/d in 2016 and was 23.8 Bcf/d in 2017, based on EIA data through October 2017.

Drilling wells in the Appalachia region has become very productive. The average monthly natural gas production per rig for new wells in the Appalachia region increased by 10.8 million cubic feet per day since January 2012. EIA attributes this increase to efficiency improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the region, which include faster drilling, longer laterals, advancements in technology, and better targeting of wells.
For example, in West Virginia, the average lateral length per well has increased from about 2,500 feet in 2007 to more than 7,000 feet in 2016. Some operators have recorded lateral lengths as long as 15,000 feet in the Marcellus and 19,000 feet in the Utica. Along with longer horizontal drilling, the days it takes for completion have decreased from about 30 days in 2011 to 7 days in 2015. <Continue reading>

Floor action on severance tax legislation
House Bill 1401, creating a severance tax on unconventional natural gas production, remains before the full House of Representatives. After returning from their Thanksgiving break last week, House members continued working their way through nearly 400 amendments to the bill.

Two of the amendments came up for a vote last Monday, and both failed. One would have named the severance tax after Governor Tom Wolf and supporting legislators. The other was a proposal to refer the bill to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. The latter failed on a 94-93 vote, with supporters of the tax claiming that sending the bill to committee likely would prevent it from ever again coming up for a vote by the full House.

Prior to the break, the House approved seven amendments. A summary of the action and description of the amendments can be found in the December issue of The PIOGA Press.

It's uncertain when further action might occur to HB 1401, but PIOGA will continue to vigorously oppose passage of this any other new tax burdens aimed at our industry. The Senate has already passed the tax as part of a revenue package for the state's current budget year.
University of Tulsa offers oil and gas essentials course for non-technical employees

The University of Tulsa's Continuing Education for Science & Engineering has rolled out an online, take-at-your-own pace class designed for non-technical employees in the oil and natural gas industry. The of the class, "From Rocks to Drill Bits: The Essentials of the Oilfield," provides an overall perspective of the industry.


It is designed for any non-technical employee working in or interested in the oil and gas industry, including administrative support, computer programmers, draftsmen, accountants, marketing/sales staff, managers, human resource personnel. It is especially helpful to new hires who may be coming from outside the industry.


The delivery method is completely online using the University of Tulsa's Blackboard Learning System. In total, the course has about 14 hours of engaging, recorded teaching along with videos from the field that reinforce the material. Those who successfully complete the course receive earn a certificate, 14 professional development hours and 1.4 CEUs. Use the link above for more information.

PIOGATech: Compliance Management & Assurance


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