Pennsylvania natural gas companies may be on track to frack the lowest number of new wells in 2023 than any year of the past decade.
Data from the Department of Environmental Protection shows drillers fracked 102 wells between July and September this year.
A new report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office notes that’s 56 fewer than during the same period last year.
The amount of gas each well produces declined 3.8% in the third quarter. Overall production held fairly steady through the year.
In the past year, Pennsylvania production growth has been lagging other major gas-producing states, such as Texas, Louisiana, West Virginia, and New Mexico.
A DEP report on the industry in 2022 showed the first year-over-year production decrease since fracking took off in the state more than a decade ago.
The IFO report shows natural gas prices in Pennsylvania fell to $1.31 per million British thermal units between July and September this year.
That’s the lowest since the same time period in 2020. Prices spiked last year in late summer, when the average price was around $6.90 per MMBtu.
The IFO says prices fell because there was a glut of gas on the market. But prices are increasing slightly in the colder months as demand for gas used for home heating is going up.
This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among The Allegheny Front, WPSU, WITF and WHYY to cover the commonwealth's energy economy.