Marcellus in Perspective – 5th Largest Natgas Producing “Country”

Last week MDN told you about the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s finding that Marcellus Shale production had passed 12 billion cubic per day (Bcf/d), a full two years ahead of predictions made by Penn State’s Terry Engelder (see New EIA Drilling Productivity Report: Marcellus Passes 12 Bcf/d!). MDN friend and prolific story idea/link contributor Chris Acker, a geological engineer with an MBA who grew up in the oil fields of Venezuela where his dad was a petroleum engineer, offers the following helpful perspective on just how much 12 Bcf/d really is…

What are the real numbers behind national natural gas production? And how does the Marcellus compare? I like to use real statistics, so here are some from the U.S. EIA:

US marketed production rose from 52 Bcf/d in 2005 to 69 Bcf/d in 2012 and is about 72 Bcf/d today. Russia is the next largest producer at about 65 Bcf/d (EIA/CIA).

Then there is a huge drop-off to the next eight, taken from the CIA Factbook, approximate 2012 volumes.

Production in Bcf/d

  • US – 72
  • Russia – 65
  • Canada – 15
  • Iran – 14
  • Qatar – 11
  • Norway – 10
  • China – 10
  • Netherlands – 8
  • Algeria – 8

So, if Marcellus Shale production at 12 Bcf/d today were its own country, it would rank fifth–ahead of Qatar! In a couple of years, Marcellus may surpass Canada, making it the world’s third largest producer.

There you have–it real numbers. Ponder the magnitude.