Unconventional well operators produced 6.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2018 — an increase of .8 trillion cubic feet over 2017 and the largest volume of natural gas produced in
Unconventional wells are those that access large reservoirs of underground natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The first unconventional natural gas well was drilled in
Since then, production levels have steadily risen, requiring more permitting and inspection activities from DEP.
According to the 2018 report, DEP:
— Issued 1,868 unconventional well permits — 160 fewer than in 2017.
— Conducted 36,873 compliance inspections at conventional and unconventional well sites — 585 more than in 2017.
— Found 1,043 unconventional well violations — a 27% increase from 2017. (Conventional well violations declined.)
— Collected $4.1 million in fines and penalties for noncompliance at oil and gas sites.
The report also noted that:
— 917 oil and gas wells were drilled in
— DEP has documented 12,164 orphan and abandoned wells in
— About 200,000 abandoned oil and gas wells remain unaccounted for.
The interactive, multimedia annual report offers several levels of data: the year in review; deeper detail and historical data; and educational overviews of drilling and the regulatory process statewide.
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