Natural Gas Daily
Marcellus Freeze-Offs Seen Having Little Impact

Friday, December 09, 2011

With gas production roughly doubling in the Marcellus Shale in just a year, an unseasonably cold Northeast winter holds the potential for widespread well freeze-offs and an unprecedented effect on production, analysts said this week.

They added, however, that a significant impact to prices or even to supply is unlikely due to record storage and high production levels regionally and nationwide.

"It would be hard for me to imagine there being a big impact," said Sean McEwen, an energy analyst with Bentek Energy, a unit of Platts. "If it does happen I would imagine it wouldn't be a big enough drop that storage couldn't make up for it. Storage fields are so full right now."

According to Bentek data, production in northeastern Pennsylvania now tops 2 Bcf/d, a more than four-fold increase from early 2010, when 400,000 Mcf/d was produced there.

Similarly, output in southwestern Pennsylvania has tripled over that time frame to 800,000 Mcf/d, according to Bentek.

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