The Marcellus Shale region now accounts for 26 percent of the country's shale gas production, according to the latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The Marcellus formation of Pennsylvania and other Mid-Atlantic states produced 6.8 billion cubic feet of gas per day in October, an increase of 72 percent from the same time one year ago.
That increase in production comes despite a decrease in the number of active rigs, some of which have moved westward to drill in Ohio's more lucrative Utica Shale region.
The Marcellus had 88 active rigs in October after declining by 53 rigs over the past year, according to Baker Hughes data cited by the government agency.
Over the past year, the number of rigs drilling in the Utica Shale has doubled to 28, with a vast majority of those rigs drilling for oil.
Chesapeake Energy of Oklahoma City remains the dominant player in Ohio, according to Bentek Energy data cited by the EIA.
On a recent conference call with investors, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon called the company's 300,000 to 400,000 leased acres in Carroll, Harrison and Columbiana counties in Ohio the "core of the core" in Utica development. Those three counties are just over the Pennsylvania border, about 70 miles west of Pittsburgh.
For all of the industry excitement, the Utica development remains in its infancy. The formation's 28 active rigs represent about 2 percent of all rigs in the country, according to Baker Hughes.
Erich Schwartzel: email@example.com or 412-263-1455.