MDN Guide to the PA DEP 2016 Annual Oil & Gas Report

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) yesterday published its 2016 Oil and Gas Annual Report. This year the DEP has published the report in an interactive, electronic (i.e.online) format ONLY, with a stated purpose “to improve public access to well information.” This is the first time the report has been published electronically. While it’s interesting to have the report issued online only, it’s not as useful as a PDF or printed document, in our humble opinion. DEP Acting Secretary Pat McDonnell said, “Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country and one of the most transparent states in making oil and gas data publicly accessible. Making the Annual Report completely digital is just the next step in our continued effort to share as much information as possible.” We’ll give the DEP an “A” for effort, but a “C” for execution. What does the report show? The number of unconventional (shale) well drilling permits issued in 2016 decreased 59% since 2014. The total number of conventional well drilling permits issued in 2016 decreased 87% since 2014. It is a dramatic drop. There were 1,321 unconventional well drilling permits issued in 2016, and 158 conventional well drilling permits issued in 2016. Even though the number of permits to drill new wells dropped from 2015 to 2016, the number of well inspections hit an all-time high in 2016–some 35,556 inspections. The boys and girls at the DEP have been busy beavers. Below we have the DEP announcement about the new report and its format, along with select charts & information–so you don’t have to wade through the (somewhat confusing) report yourself. We call it the MDN Guide to PA’s 2016 Oil and Gas Annual Report…

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