The number of backlogged wells in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale grew even as the number of rigs working the play dropped, Barclays Bank said Friday, setting the stage of another year of explosive production growth.
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Using data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Platts' Bentek unit, Barclays said the number of wells awaiting completion or a pipeline grew 8% to 1,546 in the first half of this year when compared with the last half of 2012.
"With more than 1,500 wells in the backlog, if all wells in the backlog were brought online within a year, production growth could exceed the growth experienced in 2012," Barclays analyst Shiyang Wang said in a note to clients.
Wang said she expects production from the Utica and Marcellus shales to grow another 46%, 3.6 Bcf/d, this year to 11.44 Bcf/d and another 29%, 3.3 Bcf/d, in 2014.
DEP production data, released twice a year, indicated that Pennsylvania's Marcellus gas production grew 58% from first-half 2012 to first-half 2013.
"Given the infrastructure expansions that we are expecting to see in the Marcellus, we believe that production growth in the Marcellus should outpace last year's level," Wang said.