Monday, January 9, 2012

Questions about number of PA wells / completions

I'm still trying to get an accurate count of PA wells:

  • How many HVHF permitted?
  • How many drilled?
  • How many completed / fracked?

So, I'm sharing my latest findings with you,
and hoping if you have more accurate data,
that you will send them along :)

You may have seen the recent article in the PSB.
Report: Pa. data missing nearly 500 gas wells

Which referenced this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
DEP's Marcellus Shale drilling numbers do not add up

Interesting question. I've been trying to get accurate data for PA for some time.

First, the PSB article doesn't have all the data.
You really gave to go to the original story to get all the numbers:

Part of the confusion has to do with the number of wells drilled vs. completed:

Even the newspaper reporter from the PPG seems confused by the difference:


"As of December, DCNR had only received 1,222 well completion reports since 2007, compared to about 4,700 wells that apparently have been drilled. "


Drilled means drilled. Completed means fracked.

What I've been hearing is that a lot of gas companies drill a well just to keep the lease active, but they don't complete it for a variety of reasons, like they don't have the pipeline infrastructure yet to deal with all the gas. This is one reaons the completion numbers are so much lower than total wells drilled.

There is also a question of well-pads vs wells-drilled (sometimes 8 or more per pad).

These data are complex. Hopefully we can get some accurate numbers soon.
Here are some data I've collected, along with the source.

I recently heard that PA is 2.5% developed.
(can't find the source for this, but it may have been Carol French/Carolyn Knapp)

So we can take these numbers above and multiply by 40x to get the cumulative impacts.

One reason I've been trying to track these numbers down is to get a warm-fuzzy about the numbers quoted by the SRBC:

At the Dec 2011 meeting in Wilkes Barre, James Richenderfer is the Director of Technical Programs for the SRBC claimed that in the Susquehanna River Basin (SRB), that there has been total consumptive use of 5.6B gal used for hydrofracking since 2008.

Assuming 5M gal / frack, * 1 frack. 5.6B gal would mean there has been enough water taken
from the SRB for 1,100 fracks. 

Let's assume that of ALL PA wells, 2/3rds are in the SRB.

(This is a rough guess, after studying maps of the SRB vs. where the fracking
is going on in PA. It seems it is mostly in the SRB. e.g., see: )

So we should be able to multiply 1,100 * 1.5 (inverse of 2/3rds) to get the total number
of completed wells in PA => we get 1,650. .... seems to be in the ballpark, but there
are still discrepencies against the two numbers for completed wells above.

So assuming the SRBC data is correct, we do seem to find wells completed
by not reported...

1,650 - 1,608 = 42 missing well completions.
1,650 - 1,222 (number of well completion reports) = 428 missing completed wells.

So I hope this is valuable.
Just brainstorming with the numbers.

If you have insights or better data, please send it to me.


William Huston  
Binghamton NY             Phone: 607-321-7846

Binghamton-area discussion; spirituality topics:
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