Gas numbers in opposite directions
Natural gas production in Pennsylvania amounted to a record 5.1 trillion cubic feet in 2016, keeping the commonwealth second only to Texas as a gas producer.
The industry achieved the record even though the number of new wells in 2016 declined for the third consecutive year, according to state data. The Department of Environmental Resources issued permits last year for 1,321 wells and 503 actually were drilled, a significant decline from the record 3,560 permits that the DEP issued in 2011.
Higher production and fewer new wells demonstrate the degree to which the state Legislature has served the interests of the gas industry rather than Pennsylvania as a whole.