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The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released long awaited production data for the Marcellus and even though the data is not as comprehensive as we would have liked it to be, it is still a step in the right direction.  This blog is the first of a two part series with the first part focusing on some of the short comings of the data provided by the DEP and the second part some analysis based on the data.  As a caveat, this blog is just a description of some of the challenges I have faced in digging through the DEP production data and while it may be heavy with complaints I want to say that releasing the data is a great step forward in providing more color to such an important play and just like anything else it always takes time to iron out all of the wrinkles.  Now with that said…

To start off, the data is only for July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 which is more than what we had but only provides a recent snapshot of the play and is lacking when trying to analyze historical trends.  Ideally it would be nice to have all of the data to fill that 5-year confidentially gap but beggars can’t be choosers.  Second, there is no county field in the spreadsheet which is more of a nuisance because it can be pulled from the “Permit No.” which is actually the API number without a state code (just being picky on that one).  Next the DEP did not provide monthly volumes per well, only total volumes for the year’s worth of data that was released which initially throws out any kind of decline curve analysis.  That is not really an issue just a lack of granularity… in the rest of the US some states provide annual volumes per well and some provide monthly volumes and one can argue, why don’t we get daily volumes for each well from each state, but I digress.  The real issue here is that for each well the volume and number of days produced are provided but there is no first production date or last production data which makes it difficult to perform any type of vintage analysis, at least initially.  HPDI has found a way to address this so the data can be provided in their HPDI Online application on a monthly basis through simple allocation and while this solution is the best solution with the information provided it is far from a perfect representation of each well’s monthly production.  I also wasn’t able to find a comprehensive description of the data.  For example, what is the volume listed for the product “Drilling”?  Lastly, not all operators, 7 out of the 67, reported their production which is something I hope the DEP cracks down on moving forward.

With all that said, once again, I want to re-iterate how pleased we are with the release of the data and hope that it only gets better.  Look forward to the second part in the next few weeks where I provide some analysis of the Marcellus production data.

To get more information visit the Marcellus Regulatory, Environmental Info folder in the Unconventional Updates in DI’s DNA.

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