Appalachian Basin gas production is on the rise and is expected to push the U.S. to a new record this year.

The Energy Information Administration forecast dry natural gas production in the U.S. will average 81.2 Bcf/d in 2018, establishing a new record. Production averaged 73.6 Bcf/d in 2017, the agency said in its short-term energy outlook report on June 12.

The bump in gas production is largely driven by U.S. shale producers in Appalachia, according to Tom Petrie, chairman of Petrie Partners.

Petrie told attendees of Hart Energy’s DUG East conference and exhibition in Pittsburgh on June 20 that the Marcellus, and to a degree the Utica, has dominated the natural gas supply mainly due to cost as infrastructure buildout remains critical to growth in the Gulf Coast market.

“We are looking at a new natural gas world unfolding as the U.S. is on the verge of becoming a top three LNG exporting country,” he said.

RELATED - DUG East: Update – Record-Breaking Utica Wells

Overall, Appalachian producers have increased production by 77% since 2015, Stephen Beck, senior director of North America Shale with Stratas Advisors, said during a conference panel at DUG East.

Below Hart Energy Activity Editor Larry Prado summarizes recent action in Appalachia shale plays including a Marcellus completion that EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) said has the longest lateral to date as well as recently permitted Utica Shale wells.

1. EQT Corp.: 5/29/18

Pittsburgh-based EQT completed a Marcellus Shale well, #593745 Haywood, in Washington County, Pa.

Appalachian Basin Activity Highlights Map (Map data: Google)

The Lewis Run Field discovery was drilled to 25,698 ft and the projected true vertical depth is 7,650 ft. Production is from a 17,400-ft lateral, which is the longest lateral completed to date by any Marcellus operator, according to EQT.

The horizontal well is expected to develop 42 Bcfe of reserves, and daily production information is currently being held by the state. The well is on an 832-acre lease in Section 4, Monongahela 7.5 Quad, Carroll Township.

EQT also announced that in 2018 it plans to drill 19 upper Devonian wells with an average lateral length of 15,600 ft from drillpads in the state.

2. Ascent Resources: 5/22/18

Two Utica Shale wells have been permitted by Oklahoma City-based Ascent Resources LLC.

The Belmont County, Ohio, wells will be drilled from a pad in the Pultney Field portion of Colerain Township. The #2H Lee Clr Bl has a projected depth of 17,010 ft. The #4H Lee Clr Bl has a projected depth of 17,361 ft.

3. Statoil: 4/27/18

Three Utica Shale wells have been permitted by Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) in Monroe County, Ohio.

The wells are from the Stavanger, Norway-based company’s Stalder pad in Section 1, Round Bottom Township, 7.5 Quad. The #1UH Stalder has a planned depth of 23,110 ft. The #4UH Stalder N has a planned depth of 25,277 ft. The #4UH Stalder S has a planned depth of 23,051 ft.

4. Chesapeake Energy: 4/26/18

Chesapeake Operating Inc., an affiliate of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK), filed for permits to drill three Utica Shale wells on a 1,142.5-acre lease in Harrison County, Ohio.

The #10H Buell 10-11-5 will be in Section 10, Archer Township, in Jewett Field and has a projected depth of 25,290 ft. To the west in Section 10, Archer Township, #6H Buell 10-11-5 has a projected depth of 23,079 ft and it is in Cadiz Consolidated Field. The #210H Buell 10-11-5, also in Section 10, will be drilled to 25,250 ft.

5. Chesapeake Energy: 4/3/18

Chesapeake Operating has received permits for two Norristown Field-Utica Shale wells in Franklin County, Ohio.

The #3H Paige 35-14-4 will be in Section 35 of Columbiana Township and it has a planned depth of 21,423 ft. From the same pad, Chesapeake’s #1H Paige 35-14-4 has a planned depth of 19,189 ft.

6. Chesapeake Energy: 3/29/18

Chesapeake Operating announced it completed two Marcellus Shale wells from a drillpad in Susquehanna County, Pa.

The #4H Maris initially flowed 29.8 MMcf/d of gas. It was drilled to 14,175 ft with a 6,818-ft lateral. The offsetting #5H Maris flowed 29.6 MMcf/d of gas and was drilled to 14,175 ft with a 6,607-ft horizontal lateral.

The Dimmock Field wells are on a 632-acre lease in Section 7, Springville 7.5 Quad, Auburn Township. Additional details are not available.

7. Southwestern Energy: 3/28/18

Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN) reported that a Marcellus completion, #9H Marlin Funka, was tested flowing 23 MMcf/d of gas.

The well is in Section 9, Valley Grove 7.5 Quad, West Finley Township in Washington County, Pa. It has a lateral length of 4,572 ft with a planned depth of 17,095 ft and a planned true vertical depth of 12,139 ft.

The Houston-based company said the well is expected to flow at 16-20 MMcf/d as part of the company’s pressure management program when it is brought back online.

Larry Prado can be reached at