--> The Stacked Play North Outside of Pittsburgh “SNOOP”

47th Annual AAPG-SPE Eastern Section Joint Meeting

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The Stacked Play North Outside of Pittsburgh “SNOOP”


The combination of population density and topography has prevented unconventional shale development in the metropolitan Pittsburgh area. The lack of activity in this area segments the southwest Pennsylvania shale plays into two areas. Exploration and development continues to extend from the original core of the Marcellus play located south of Pittsburgh in Washington County, PA. Recent activity north of Pittsburgh reveals new economic opportunities in multiple unconventional strata. Comparing these geographic, somewhat-arbitrary segments provides insight into the unique reservoir characteristics of the stacked play north outside of Pittsburgh (SNOOP). Similar to the original core of the southwest Pennsylvania Marcellus, SNOOP development began with vertical wells and progressed towards horizontal drilling. Build-out of wet-gas midstream infrastructure has allowed for further exploration in the play. Subtle changes in reservoir properties north of Pittsburgh are shown to have significant impacts on production. Operational practices and new technologies have proven critical to producing favorable economics in the SNOOP. The combination of wet gas Marcellus, wet gas Upper Devonian, and dry gas Utica/Point Pleasant provides economic flexibility and mitigates risk in the area. A systematic analysis of reservoir properties in these plays reveals the economic margins and ultimate resource available in southwest Pennsylvania.