Over the last 10 years, over 4,000 horizontal wells have been drilled in the northeastern Pennsylvania Marcellus play and the results continue to be impressive. Based on public data, activity appears to be down somewhat this year, but initial results are on track with those from 2019.

Northeast Marcellus Continues to Perform Graph 1
(Source: RED TWP Tool, Enervus)

The graph below shows cumulative gas production per 1,000-ft of perforated interval for the approximately 3,600 wells with nominal lateral lengths between one and two miles. The data for 2020 nearly overlies 2019’s, both of which are down slightly from 2017-18.

Northeast Marcellus Continues to Perform Graph 2
(Source: RED TWP Tool, Enervus)

There are currently 11 rigs operating in the play, most of which are located in the eastern and western portions, with only two operating in the less densely drilled central area. Looking only at one- to two-mile laterals drilled since 2013 (when results showed a step change improvement), we see that most of the focus has been on the eastern and western portions.

Northeast Marcellus Continues to Perform Graph 3
(Source: RED TWP Tool, Enervus)

Although drilling densities in the east and west are tightening, the less densely drilled central area shows attractive results on a per 1,000-ft basis, suggesting additional running room for the play despite low gas prices.

Northeast Marcellus Continues to Perform Graph 4
(Source: RED TWP Tool, Enervus)

About the Author:

Steve Hendrickson is the president of Ralph E. Davis Associates, an Opportune LLP company. Hendrickson has over 30 years of professional leadership experience in the energy industry with a proven track record of adding value through acquisitions, development and operations. In addition, he possesses extensive knowledge of petroleum economics, energy finance, reserves reporting and data management, and has deep expertise in reservoir engineering, production engineering and technical evaluations. Hendrickson is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas and holds an M.S. in Finance from the University of Houston and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves as a board member of the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers and is a registered FINRA representative.