Marcellus Region’s natural gas production reaches record high

HOUSTON — Natural gas production in the Marcellus Region exceeded 15 billion cubic feet per day in July, the most productive period ever recorded there, according to a government analysis.

The Marcellus Region, located largely in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, now accounts for almost 40 percent of U.S. shale gas production. The field’s rapid growth has had a major effect on the surrounding markets for gas and isn’t expected to ebb soon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Marcellus Region’s natural gas productivity has surged since 2010, when production totaled 2 billion cubic feet per day.

New wells in the region are expected to deliver another 600 million cubic feet per day, more than offsetting decline rates for a net increase in daily production of 247 million cubic feet, the report estimated.

All that new supply has created a pipeline bottleneck, which has driven several pipeline expansion projects, according to the report by the EIA, an Energy Department agency.

In part due to the new plentiful Marcellus natural gas, the report said, prices at Northeastern trading points have fallen below the ones at the Henry Hub in Louisiana — the pricing point for benchmark natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.