American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.
The scope of this paper is to outline the economic possibilities which exist in the development drilling for natural gas in Western Pennsylvania. The area studied includes five Pennsylvania. The area studied includes five counties in Western Pennsylvania and concentrates on what is generally termed the Devonian Gas Sands. The definition of shallow has been taken at an average of 3,700 feet to and through the lowest producing horizon generally completed.
This is a study of a rather typical low permeability, low porosity natural gas horizon permeability, low porosity natural gas horizon (horizons) with the associated costs on a perwell basis, and gathering costs on an average perwell basis, and gathering costs on an average basis as experienced in the field.
Ultimate recoverable reserves and expected deliverabilities are discussed with reference to the overall profit ratio to be expected on an average well of this type. The basic information required for determining the economic feasibility have been based on historical production records throughout the area from production records throughout the area from numerous sources. This approach is used as being the most reliable in an area where ultimate recoverable and deliverability projections are very difficult.
My introduction to the gas industry came at the age of four. My father and grandfather allowed me to travel with them during a rig move in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. At that time they moved their rig using teams. The mud was so deep that they would place me on a stump or flat rock in order not to lose me in the mud. Their largest capital item was the drilling engine, which was a one-cylinder Franklin valveless engine with a reversible clutch at a total cost of $1,200.00. Natural gas was selling for 17 cts to 19 cts per mcf; cable tool drillers were being paid $8.00 per 12-hour day. Since then, except paid $8.00 per 12-hour day. Since then, except for the time spent in grade school, Greenbrier Military School, Lewisburg, W. Va., and the time spent in Europe during World War II as a rifleman, my entire life has been spent drilling gas wells and producing gas for various gas companies in Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virgins.
Just prior to entering the service in World War II, drilling engines were still the main capital item; Waukesha power units and Reicee drilling engines were the popular ones selling for approximately $3,500.00. Drillers were being paid $1.00 per hour, and the price of natural gas was around 20cts per mcf. Upon returning from service, the trend in the drilling business was swinging to 36L Bucyrus Erie Spudders.