Why the Upper Appalachian Basin?
Pennsylvania has the proud heritage of being the first place in the world where a commercially successful well was drilled for oil production. Edwin Drake drilled the first well in 1859 in Venango County, near Titusville. Paraffin-based “Pennsylvania Grade” crude oil is renowned for its lubricating qualities. More than 350,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania since that time. In the 1800’s Pennsylvania was the leading producer of oil in the United States.
In 2005, Pennsylvania produced about 3.6 million barrels of oil and 168 billion cubic feet of natural gas. In 2009, Pennsylvania produced 3.4 million barrels of oil and 198 billion cubic feet of gas. Pennsylvania ranks 19th in oil production in the U.S. and 15th in natural gas production. There are almost 19,000 oil wells in production and more than 55,000 natural gas wells in the Commonwealth. Oil and gas fields in Pennsylvania typically lie to the west and north of the Allegheny Front; that is to the Northwest quadrant.
There are numerous hydrocarbon producing formations between 1000’ and 7000’ in Pennsylvania. Many of these are contiguous (linked) including many shallow sands (1000’+) and the Medina (3000’) which makes for a very high completion rate and a successful production curve on wells drilled to those formations. The deeper formations including the Rose Run and the Knox (6000’) has been known to produce prolific results in both oil and gas in more recent years.
These multiple formations offer Independent operator’s in Pennsylvania myriad choices for success depending on each one’s strategic goals, expertise, and financial capacities for pursuing them. In many cases, where a deep formation is less than anticipated, the operator has “behind the casing” protection. This simply means that a shallower formation is completed based on the information gathered during drilling and completion to finish with a producing and profitable well.
All these factors make the Upper Appalachian one of the most dependable and exciting places in the U.S. to drill and produce hydrocarbons. These conditions have attracted more than 350 operators to drill in the Commonwealth in 2010 including many of the largest, publicly traded independents.
The Commonwealth issued 2700 permits through December 2010