More natural gas is being fracked out of the Marcellus Shale formation in the Northeastern U.S. than is being produced by most foreign countries.

A report published Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed that Marcellus gas production is growing much faster than had been predicted. (So, too, are the damages that fracking is inflicting on the region’s environment — and the world’s climate.)

Click to embiggen.
Click to embiggen.
EIA

The Associated Press reports that daily gas production from the Marcellus Shale is producing as much energy as 2 million barrels of oil. That’s more than six times the region’s production rate in 2009, according to the AP article:

For perspective, if the Marcellus Shale region were a country, its natural gas production would rank eighth in the world. The Marcellus now produces more natural gas than Saudi Arabia, and that glut has led to wholesale prices here that are about one-quarter of those in Japan, for example.

The vast majority of the Marcellus gas is coming from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The shale also lies under other states, but most of the wells in Ohio produce oil, and New York has placed a moratorium on shale gas drilling.

Federal energy experts are surprised by the rapid Marcellus growth, since the number of drilling rigs has fallen over the past two years.

Here’s a map that shows the Marcellus region as well as other top oil and gas producing areas:

Click to embiggen.
Click to embiggen.
EIA