U.S. natural-gas production will accelerate over the next three decades, new research indicates, providing the strongest evidence yet that the energy boom remaking America will last for a generation.
The most exhaustive study to date of a key natural-gas field in Texas, combined with related research under way elsewhere, shows that U.S. shale-rock formations will provide a growing source of moderately priced natural gas through 2040, and decline only slowly after that. A report on the Texas field, to be released Thursday, was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The research provides substantial evidence that there are large quantities of gas available that can be drilled profitably at a market price of $4 per million British thermal units, a relatively small increase from the current price of about $3.43.
The study, funded by the nonpartisan Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and performed by the University of Texas, examined 15,000 wells drilled in the Barnett Shale formation in northern Texas, mostly over the past decade. It is among the first to study the geology and economics of shale drilling, a relatively recent development made possible by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped at high pressure into rocks to release gas.
Looking at data from actual wells rather than relying on estimates and extrapolations, the study broadly confirms conclusions by the energy industry and the U.S. government, which in December forecast rising gas production.
"We are looking at multi, multi decades of growth," said Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the university and a leader of the study.
The shale-gas boom has led to a reorientation of the U.S. energy economy. This has led to a steep decline in coal consumption for electric generation and prompted companies to announce or consider multibillion-dollar investments to export gas and build chemical, steel and fertilizer plants that will consume enormous quantities of gas.
Don, good info, KWK claims they have something like 18tcf of potential Barnett reserves.
Total Canadian imports +250kbpd m/m at OPEC’s expense (-557kbpd m/m), 3.4mmbpd is lowest monthly OPEC total since 1997.
The same thing is happening with oil, our world, it seems would be different if we didn't have a reliance on the middle east. We have more coal than any other country, our nat gas reserves are plentiful for years to come, NA oil shale is just beginning to be developed. Saw a report yesterday that an Australian company is proposing to build a LNG export facility at Lake Charles, LA. The company is backed with Chinese money. If we don't lock up NA reserves, the Chinese will be happy to do it. And our DC leader have their heads in the sand. Too bad from a jobs standpoint.
The boom in shale-oil production lifted U.S. crude-oil output by 14.6% last year to a 17-year high, data released Wednesday by the federal Energy Information Administration show.
Output totaled 6.474 million barrels a day, up 826,000 barrels a day from 2011. In volume terms, the gain was biggest on record on EIA data beginning in 1900. The percentage rise was the biggest since 1940, EIA data show.
In December, output rose by 16.7% from a year earlier, to 7.03 million barrels a day, the highest level in any month since December 1992.
Widespread use of new technology such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has allowed oil producers to extract oil has been previously unreachable.
The biggest surge in output came in North Dakota, where output jumped 58% from a year earlier, to 662,000 barrels a day in 2012.
Strong growth in the Bakken oil field allowed North Dakota's output to vault ahead of the flow from the Alaska North Slope and California in 2012.
North Dakota's output annual was third nationwide behind that of Texas and flows from federal waters off the Gulf of Mexico. Texas output rose, while federal production dropped.
Too bad we have a govt that is not promoting this fundamental change in the globe's energy supply, and the press that loves to demonize fossil fuels. This could get us out of the debt hole we find ourselves. CLR had a great report today, the growth continues, the Bakken is pushing 800k/d. And the Permian, there are something like 20k barrels per acre of potential oil reserves, and a decade or so ago, the Permian was written off.