Shale gas production data missing key driller
Aug 18, 2012 (Menafn - The Citizens' Voice - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --New data detailing the amount of Pennsylvania shale gas produced in the first half of 2012 is missing a key piece of information and making Bradford County, the state's reigning producer, look meager.
Gas and waste production information for one of the state's largest Marcellus Shale operators, Chesapeake Energy, was not included Friday, two days after the semiannual production reports were due to the state. Chesapeake submitted the information on time but an uploading glitch kept it from appearing on the public database, a company spokesman said. The company resubmitted the data through email and is working with the state to upload it.
The Department of Environmental Protection began posting partial information about the newest biannual gas output on Wednesday, when production numbers had not yet been uploaded for several major operators.
By Thursday, Chesapeake was the only large operator still absent from the database.
DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday said DEP is looking into whether data is missing from other drillers and why they did not report. The state is updating the information as it receives it, he said.
Chesapeake's absence went unnoticed by some of the data's earliest analysts and prompted news reports of a "plummet" and "dramatic drop" in Bradford County's production.
Bradford is the heart of Chesapeake's operations in the state. In the second half of 2011, the two-thirds of the company's 1,368 reported wells were planned or located there.
Any accounting of the state's gas production would be depressed without Chesapeake's contribution factored in.
The company was the most prolific producer of Marcellus Shale gas in the state in the last half of 2011, with 112 billion cubic feet of gas, or more than a sixth of the state's total for the period.
The state routinely updates the information in its production database as more or better information is submitted, making the report a work in progress. When the state first posted production data for the second half of 2011, drillers had reported pulling a healthy 607 billion cubic feet of gas from the state's shale between July and December. Now, the reported production for that period is 631 billion cubic feet of gas.
The state began reporting semiannual Marcellus Shale production data in 2010. For the first time, the report for the first half of 2012 also includes gas from other so-called unconventional formations, like the Utica Shale, which is productive in western Pennsylvania.
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