Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shale Gas Production Facts: Not Fit To Print

Shale Gas production was less than 1% of all US gas production in 2000 and now accounts for 25% of all gas production.

Shale Gas production has skyrocketed since 2007 when it was 2 billion cubic feet per day (about 3% of total gas production) to 16 billion cubic feet per day in February 2011.

Productionin the Fayetteville Shale has increased sharply from January 2007 to October 2010 and slowly since then, despite the number of drilling rigs there falling from about 50 in October 2008 to about 30 in January 2011.

The Haynesville Shale production has skyrocketed from nothing in January 2007 to now supplying 8% of all US gas.  That is amazing.  The rig count in Haynesville hit about 170 in April 2010 and declined to 130 in January 2011.

Barnett Shale production rose rapidly until April 2009 and has been essentially flat since then, depite a large decline in rig counts.  In July 2008 about 170 rigs operated in the Barnett but only 60 by January 2011.

Marcellus production went from essentially nothing in January 2008 to 2,000mmcf/day in January 2011. The rig count has increased steadily and is now at about 120.

The NYT Reporter printed none of this actual production data, while eagerly printing explosive, sensationalistic anonymous emails, often a couple years old, that got Ponzi and Enron into the frame.

All this production has been great for consumers who have saved $1,000 at least in lower gas and electric bills. 

All this production has caused the price of gas to fall sharply and caused owners of many old coal power plants to announce that they will shut.  Gas, wind, energy efficiency by replacing old coal are saving tens of thousands of lives lost from power plant pollution and preventing hundreds of thousands of illnesses.

All this production has been a mixed blessing for investors in gas as low-prices are not their friend. 

The gas is in the shale in enormous amounts.  A great deal of it has been produced with gas at $4.  A great deal of it would be produced if gas goes to $6.  And even more of it would be produced with $8 gas. 

Markets sort out the pricing and investors take the risk.

1 comment:

  1. The Barnett has been surpassed by the Haynesville in production already and yet there are 10 times more wells on the Barnett than the Haynesville. That means the Average Barnett well is producing 1/10 of the average Haynesville well. This is a perfect example of the decline curve realities that the NYT exposed.

    Another good example is the city of Ft. worth in the heart of the Barnett. In 2008, Ft. worth received about 50 million in royalties. This dropped to 19 million in 2009 and trended back up to 38 million in 2010. Sounds like you're heading in the right direction until you realize that the number of wells in the city more than quadrupled between 2008-2010.4 times as many wells could only keep royalty income at 2/3 the former level. You cannot account for this ONLY by the drop in gas prices.