Natural Gas Up in W VA

Natural gas production rose 50 percent in West Virginia in 2011.

The state's production rose to 385,500 thousand cubic feet, or mcf, up from 256,600 mcf in 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Natural Gas Annual, released Jan. 7.

Shale gas represented 58 percent of the state's production.

Nationwide, production from shale gas reached 30 percent of total natural gas production in 2011, up from just 8 percent in 2007.

Natural gas numbers of all kinds rose in the U.S. in 2011.

  • Number of producing wells: 514,600, up from 487,600 in 2010.
  • Dry production: 22.9 million mcf, up from 21.3 million mcf in 2010. Gross withdrawals from shale gas wells: 8.5 million thousand cubic feet, or mcf, up from 5.8 million mcf in 2010 — while conventional gas withdrawals dropped to 13 million mcf from 13.2 million mcf.
  • Consumption: 24.4 million mcf, up from 24 million mcf in 2010.
  • Natural gas exports, 1.5 million mcf, up from 1.1 million mcf in 2010; imports down to 3.5 million mcf from 3.7 million mcf.

In West Virginia, the numbers of producing wells hit 56,800 in 2011, up from 52,500 in 2010.

And consumption was up a little too: 115,400 mcf, from 113,200 mcf in 2010.

West Virginia had the 13th largest capacity to process natural gas — to separate the methane from natural gas liquids — among states, at 845 mcf/day. Largest was Texas at 18,365 mcf/day.

Liquids extracted in West Virginia came to 6.41 million barrels in 2011, up just a little from 6.38 million barrels in 2010.

The average price of natural gas delivered to West Virginia customers was $10.91/mcf. It was about average among prices in the lower 48 that ranged from $8.10/mcf in North Dakota to $18.16/mcf in Florida, and lower than prices that ranged in the mid $14s in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and $11.39 in 2010.

The EIA did not update its figures for gas reserves in this publication. Its figures for Dec. 31, 2010, were 7,000 billion cubic feet for West Virginia, 2.3 percent of the nation's 304,625 bcf.