Nothing rings out the old year quite like a nice data table. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a list of drilled unconventional wells in Pennsylvania, sorted both by county and year:
This table is perhaps the most succinct way to summarize the eight years of unconventional drilling activity in Pennsylvania on a county by county basis, and in that regard, it stands as a useful reference. But at FracTracker, we are always trying to ask, “What does it mean? So here are a few points to take away from this table:
- The last two columns show the changes from 2011 to 2012 in terms of raw count and percent change, respectively. Those counties showing a year to year reduction are highlighted with red text in these columns.
- The number of unconventional wells drilled statewide in 2012 is the smallest total since 2009, and is down 31 percent from 2011 totals.
- Some counties, such as Allegheny and Armstrong, are experiencing an expansion of activity from the industry, while others, such as Tioga and Bradford, are declining sharply.
Of course, we also like to look for spatial patterns at FracTracker. The results are not random:
Percent change of number of unconventional wells drilled by Pennsylvania county from 2011 to 2012. To access full controls, click the expanding arrows icon at the top right corner of the map.
Although reported oil and condensate production values are modest for unconventional wells in the state, the cluster of green counties (which show more wells drilled in 2012 than 2011) in southwestern PA occur in the area where the Marcellus Shale is considered to be wet gas. Counties in the northeastern portion of the state typically produce more natural gas than in other places, but it is generally dry gas. Clearly, the heavier hydrocarbons of the southwestern counties are more of interest for drillers in a year in which gas reserves have been well above average all year long.