Sunday, October 27, 2013

What percentage of Marcellus Shale has been developed in PA?

I was recently asked:

Can you tell me what percentage of planned HVHF development PA now is at? Or the % for Susquehanna and/or Bradford Counties?

Here is my response.
There's complexity around this question.
These are all estimates, but we can probably get close to the right answer.
FIRST: What are we talking about?
  • Wells Permitted?  (largest number)
  • Well pads in place?   (descending
  • Wells drilled?                    order)
  • Wells Completed? (smallest number)
To get an answer to your question, we have to get an idea of 2 numbers:
1) How many wells have already been permitted, or drilled, or completed,
2) How many wells are forecast for PA.

In this video from Aug 2012, Ingraffea says PA is 2% developed overall.

I believe they drill the "sweet spot" first, so I would imagine
that Bradford and Susquehanna County are ahead of the that.
Ingraffea: 5,500 wells drilled in PA, only 1/2 have been fracked
and these (the fracked/completed wells) represents 2% of development.

Extrapolating, this means that (5,500/2) * 50 = 100%
   = 137,500 wells projected for PA.

John Holko says here (Nov 2012) there are "3700 wells drilled in PA".

This page says there are ~6,400 "active Marcellus wells" in PA:
Here's another way to estimate total buildout.

Let's assume that 50% of PA is under shale, and
we will ultimately have 1 well pad per sq. mile (assumes NY spacing units)
and 8 wells per pad.

The area of PA is 46,055 sq mi, so 1/2 is 23,000 sq mi,
23,000 * 8 = 184,000 wells projected
(this is reasonable close to Ingraffea's numbers).

SO let's take a range of projected wells for PA of between 130k-180k.
Let's take a range of wells drilled from the low 2,750 (Ingraffea)
to 6,500 (State Impact):

  Projected for PA
130k 180k
so far:
2% 1.5%
(State Impact)
5% 3.6%
So I'd say it is safe to say that PA Overall is between 2-5% developed.
Since 2% was over a year ago, I'd say it's probably higher.
The median is 3.5%.

Per county (using the State Impact numbers)

  Projected for Susquehanna County
832 sq miles * 8= 6,656 wells Projected
so far:
734 11% developed

  Projected for Bradford County
1,161 sq miles * 8 = 9288 wells Projected
so far:
1142 12% developed
Now we would expect these 2 counties to be ahead of the rest
of the state, because they knew there was more gas there
based on geology.

Now remember the State Impact numbers are more than double
Ingraffea's, so this indicates to me they might be looking
at Permitted wells, not drilled or even completed.
So consider 11-12% developed for these two counties to be a high estimate.

Hope this helps.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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