Southern Pennsylvania and adjacent West Virginia counties have sustained a notable increase in natural gas production since early 2012, said the US Energy Information Administration.
Operators have increasingly shifted their attention to more liquids-rich shale gas in the wet gas regions of the two states, but production from dry gas areas in this part of the Appalachian basin has benefited from the addition of pipelines and gas processing plants, improving takeaway capacity from the gas fields, EIA noted.
From July to September 2012, three projects expanded production capacity by nearly 1 bcfd.
Equitrans placed its Sunrise project into full service in July 2012 with capacity to transport 310 MMcfd from Wetzel County, WV, to Greene County, Pa., and providing access to five separate interconnections serving Mid-Atlantic consumers.
Dominion Transmission initiated service in September 2012 from the four new compressor stations and 110 miles of new pipeline built for its Appalachian Gateway project, providing capacity of 470 MMcfd of gas from producing areas in both states to an interconnect with the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline.
Equitrans placed in service its newly built 200 MMcfd Blacksville compressor station in Monongalia County, W.Va., in the same month.
Gas production in West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania has risen as these expansions provided increased access to markets, EIA said. Production in West Virginia averaged 2.34 bcfd through mid-July 2013, compared with 1.55 bcfd through mid-July 2012, a 51% increase. Production in the nearby dry regions of southern Pennsylvania doubled during the period to 1.73 bcfd from 0.86 bcfd.
Further growth in West Virginia is expected as Texas Eastern announced plans to build a 390 MMcfd pipeline lateral to its mainline from Dominion’s 200 MMcfd Natrium processing plant in West Virginia by yearend 2014. Planned processing plant expansions through the end of 2013 could also add greatly to the state’s processing capacity, which totaled 850 MMcfd in 2012, EIA added.