Following Chesapeake’s alleged failure to submit proper data to the DEP, the firm’s since released data shows Chesapeake leading the state’s gas extraction during the first six months of 2012.
Despite the data error, new figures show that Chesapeake’s wells—primarily located in Bradford County in northeast Pennsylvania and Beaver County and Washington County in southwest Pennsylvania—accounted for almost 24 percent of Pennsylvania’s shale gas yield between January and June. The wells produced 189 billion cubic feet of gas, which was an increase of about 40 percent.
Pennsylvania’s overall production, according to the report, increased to 793 billion cubic feet.
The DEP requires companies to submit reports twice a year in February and August, but they continually update numbers after reporting deadlines. For example, DEP data for the second half of 2011 showed 606 billion cubic feet of statewide gas extraction, an increase of between 25 and 30 percent. Updated figures made available recently show 631 billion cubic feet, an increase of 40 percent.
Bradford County figures were boosted after including the 321 Cheseapeake wells that were missing from the initial data, but even with the wells added, Bradford saw a slight drop—making them the state’s second highest gas producing county after Susquehanna.
The other top dogs are Lycoming, Washington, and Greene counties.
Beaver County was a newbie on the ranks of gas-producing counties on the new report. One Chesapeake-owned well in South Beaver is listed as producing 505 million cubic feet of gas.
Shale gas production figures have been reported every six months since the fall of 2010. The data is posted on the DEP’s website.
Despite the release of the numbers, DEP and Chesapeake continue to debate who is to blame for the missing information. Chesapeake claimed that they did submit the report on time, but that the database system was the problem. The Associated Press reported that the DEP said Chesapeake filed a production report so riddled with errors that a state database rejected it.
This back-and-forth battle isn’t impressive to industry and agency critics or the public. Both have faced scrutiny based on the missing Chesapeake information in the initial report.