NGL Production Forecasted to Increase by over 700%
The Appalachian region of the eastern United States has experienced significant growth in natural gas production and that production is expected to increase for decades to come. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas production in Appalachia is forecasted to increase over 350 percent between 2013 and 2040. The region is rich in natural gas liquids (NGLs), which produce feedstocks, including ethane and propane that the petrochemical industry uses to produce compounds for making plastics. Appalachian NGL production is projected to increase over 700 percent in the 10 years from 2013 to 2023.*
The growth of natural gas production in the region is attributed to the Marcellus and the Utica shale formations. The Marcellus runs deep in the Appalachian basin—from upstate New York south through Pennsylvania to West Virginia and west to parts of Ohio.
The Utica shale play lies under most of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Access to vast, new supplies of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from these shale deposits is one of the most exciting domestic energy developments of the past 50 years. These formations are among the world’s largest known gas reserves. As a result, several petrochemical producers have announced plans to build ethylene and polyethylene facilities in the region and there is potential for more.
*Natural Gas Liquids Primer – With a Focus on the Appalachian Region, Department of Energy | December 2017