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EIA: Marcellus to contribute 18% of U.S. production this month

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Natural-gas production from the Northeast's Marcellus Shale region is expected to exceed 13 billion cubic feet per day this month and provide about 18 percent of the nation's total production, the federal Energy Information Administration said today.

The amount was less than 2 billion cubic feet per day as recently as 2010, according to EIA.

In addition, the number of drilling rigs has remained relatively flat and a growth in new-well efficiency has contributed to production increases, the administration said.

Output also has increased from previously "shut-in" wells or those that had been operated at reduced levels because of constrained takeaway capacity, the EIA said. Upgrades have bolstered production volumes, it said.

The administration expects takeaway capacity to go up by at least 3.5 billion cubic feet a day to the New York/New Jersey and Mid-Atlantic markets by 2015 because of natural-gas-pipeline expansion projects.

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