Data, Stats, News & Info

Appalachia Basin
Data, History, and Current State

This guide provides information about the Appalachia Basin, oil and gas data, history, top operators, and other facts.

Overview

Appalachia Basin Oil and Gas

The Appalachian Basin, one of the oldest and most geologically diverse regions in the United States, is a major contributor to the country’s energy resources.

The Appalachia Basin -- Largest Natural Gas Producing Region

The Appalachian Basin is the largest natural gas-producing region in the United States, comprising nearly one-third (29%) of total U.S. production in 2022. A combined 207 counties across 8 states produced the remaining 71% of natural gas. (Source: EIA)

What is the Appalachia Basin?

The Appalachian Basin covers approximately 185,000 square miles, stretching from upstate New York in the north to northeastern Alabama in the south. Spanning parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, this basin has a rich history of oil and gas exploration dating back to the 19th century.

Horizontal Rig Count

The Appalachia Basin: History, Data and Facts

Gas production in the Appalachian Basin began in the mid-19th century, marking the early days of the American petroleum industry.

When and how did it start?

Natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin began in the late 19th century, following the initial discoveries of oil in the region. Similar to the development of the oil industry, the exploration and production of natural gas were driven by the increasing demand for energy resources during the Industrial Revolution.

One of the earliest and most notable natural gas discoveries in the Appalachian Basin occurred in the late 1880s in West Virginia. The discovery of large quantities of natural gas in the Kanawha Valley sparked a boom in natural gas exploration and production throughout the region.

Throughout the 20th century, natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin continued to expand, with Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio emerging as major natural gas-producing states. Today, the Appalachian Basin remains one of the most significant natural gas-producing regions in the United States, contributing substantially to the country’s overall natural gas supply.

Gas production over the last 10 years

Top counties [August 2013 - August 2023]

Horizontal Well Daily Gas Production [Mcf/d] of the Top Counties
# County State Horizontal Well Count - August 2023 Daily Production (Mcf/d) - August 2023
1 Susquehanna Pennsylvania 1.883 4.304,433
2 Greene (PA) Pennsylvania 1.348 3.470,956
3 Bradford (PA) Pennsylvania 1.497 3.057,436
4 Washington (PA) Pennsylvania 1.835 3.047,009
5 Tyler (WV) West Virginia 567 1.890,487
6 Belmont Ohio 675 1.613,316
7 Marshall (WV) West Virginia 655 1.526,401
8 Jefferson (OH) Ohio 377 1.479,483
9 Lycoming Pennsylvania 963 1.117,863
10 Tioga (PA) Pennsylvania 841 1.064,967
11 Wetzel West Virginia 502 1.054,880
12 Doddridge West Virginia 626 967,531
13 Monroe (OH) Ohio 466 960,299
14 Harrison (OH) Ohio 517 768,819
15 Wyoming (PA) Pennsylvania 337 744,597

Top 15 natural gas operators [August 2013 - August 2023] - wells by current operator

Horizontal Well Daily Gas Production [Mcf/d] of the Top 15 Operators
# Operator State Horizontal Well Count - August 2023 Daily Production (Mcf/d) - August 2023
1 EQT Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Ohio 3,314 6.333,260
2 Chesapeake Pennsylvania & Ohio 1,552 4.016,497
3 Antero Resources West Virginia & Ohio 1,439 3.286,362
4 Southwestern Energy Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Ohio 1,628 3.145,462
5 Coterra Energy Pennsylvania 1,020 2.663,257
6 Ascent Resources Ohio 850 2.350,042
7 Range Resources Pennsylvania 1,456 2.128,229
8 CNX Resources Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Ohio 573 1.509,760
9 Seneca Resources Pennsylvania 961 1.128,499
10 Encino Energy Ohio 984 988,812
11 Gulfport Energy Ohio 438 923,825
12 Repsol Pennsylvania 750 851,831
13 HG Energy II West Virginia 84 668,144
14 PennEnergy Resources Pennsylvania 406 591,063
15 Northeast Natural Energy Pennsylvania & West Virginia 144 505,622

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The Appalachia Basin Oil Production

When and how did it start?

The first commercial oil well in the United States, the Drake Well, was drilled in 1859 near Titusville, Pennsylvania, within the Appalachian Basin.

This historic well, drilled by Edwin Drake and overseen by businessman Colonel Edwin L. Drake, struck oil at a depth of approximately 69 feet (21 meters). The successful extraction of oil from the well marked the beginning of the modern oil era in the United States.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, oil production in the Appalachian Basin continued to expand, with Pennsylvania emerging as one of the leading oil-producing states in the country. 

Top counties [August 2013 - August 2023]

Horizontal Well Daily Oil Production [bo/d] of the Top Counties
#
County State Horizontal Well Count - August 2023 Daily Production (bo/d) - August 2023
1 Carroll (OH) Ohio 557 24,427
2 Guernsey Ohio 287 21,710
3 Harrison (OH) Ohio 517 15,631
4 Marshall (WV) West Virginia 655 14,782
5 Tyler (WV) West Virginia 567 9,870
6 Ohio (WV) West Virginia 212 8,499
7 Washington (PA) Pennsylvania 1,835 7,421
8 Brooke West Virginia 164 7,309
9 Wetzel West Virginia 502 2,965
10 Doddridge West Virginia 626 2,782
11 Columbiana Ohio 134 2,762
12 Ritchie West Virginia 264 1,107
13 Monroe (OH) Ohio 466 920
14 Noble (OH) Ohio 180 892
15 Beaver (PA) Pennsylvania 140 817

Top 15 oil operators [August 2013 - August 2023] - wells by current operator

Horizontal Well Daily Oil Production [bo/d] of the Top 15 operators
# Operator State Horizontal Well Count - August 2023 Daily Production (Bo/d) - August 2023
1 Encino Energy Ohio 984 34,858
2 Southwestern Energy Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Ohio 1,628 21,875
3 Ascent Resources Ohio 850 15,305
4 Antero Resources West Virginia & Ohio 1,439 13,621
5 EQT Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Ohio 3,314 9,626
6 Range Resources Pennsylvania 1,456 8,162
7 Utica Resources Ohio 49 7,647
8 EAV Operator West Virginia 44 3,046
9 EOG Pennsylvania & Ohio 29 2,844
10 Infinity Natural Resources Pennsylvania & Ohio 63 2,258
11 Jay-Bee Oil & Gas West Virginia 131 801
12 PennEnergy Resources Pennsylvania 406 712
13 Gulfport Energy Ohio 438 673
14 CNX Resources Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Ohio 573 314
15 LOLA Energy Pennsylvania 58 298

Natural resources in the Appalachia Basin

The Appalachia Basin is not only rich in oil and natural gas but also hosts coal deposits, timber, water, and various other minerals including limestone, sandstone, gypsum, and clay.

The Appalachia Basin formations

The Appalachia Basin is home to several major geological formations, each with its own unique characteristics and significance. Here are some of the notable formations found in the Appalachia Basin.

Major formations:

Geneseo Burkett Formation

This formation consists of limestone, dolomite, shale, and sandstone layers. It is primarily known for its gas-producing capabilities.

Mahantango Formation

The Mahantango Formation is composed of sandstone, siltstone, and shale. It is known for its gas and oil production, particularly in areas with higher porosity and permeability.

Upper Marcellus

The Upper Marcellus is a part of the larger Marcellus Formation and consists of black shale with layers of limestone and sandstone.

Cherry Valley/Purcell Limestone

This formation is characterized by limestone and dolomite layers.

Lower Marcellus

The Lower Marcellus Formation is composed of dark shale with intermittent layers of limestone and sandstone. It is another significant contributor to natural gas production.

Salina Group

The Salina Group is comprised of salt beds, shale, limestone, and dolomite. While not a major producer of oil and gas, it is important for its salt deposits.

Cincinnati Group

The Cincinnati Group includes shale, limestone, and dolomite layers. It is primarily known for its limestone formations, which have been used in construction and as a source of crushed stone.

Utica Formation

The Utica Formation is a major shale formation known for its oil and gas production potential. It consists of layers of black shale, limestone, and dolomite.

Point Pleasant Formation

The Point Pleasant Formation is found above the Utica Formation and is also a significant contributor to oil and gas production in the region. 

Trenton Formation

The Trenton Formation is a limestone formation known for its oil and gas production. It contains layers of limestone and dolomite.

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