Thursday, February 28, 2013

Study Shows Gas Production to Grow for Decades

A study by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation found that natural gas in the United States will increase in growth for the next 30 years before leveling off.

Even after that, according to the study, natural gas will only slightly taper off.

The data was not only talking about volumes of natural gas, but the cost of production as well.

For example, a million British thermal units at this time costs approximately $3.43 to produce, with estimates are future production will only rise to about $4 per million British thermal units.

Data were drawn from 15,000 wells drilled in the Barnett Shale formation in northern Texas by the University of Texas under the auspices of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It is one of the first comprehensive studies performed to measure the economics of fracking in shale formations.

"We are looking at multi, multi decades of growth," said Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the university and who headed up the study.

As for investment implications, the Barnett shale is complicated when broken down from well to well. There are some that do very well and others that have little natural gas in them. That means some companies will profit and others could be dragged down by the variable quantities scattered throughout the basin and over the numerous wells already dug.

Overall, the study concludes there is about 44 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that can be recovered in Barnett alone.

Tinker said to get the gas there is a need and room for about 13,000 more wells in the Barnett area.

As for other shale resources across America, which are undergoing similar studies, it is estimated there will be tens of thousands more natural gas wells drilled to access the huge resource.

Preliminary estimates of these other shale formations are what the growth projections through 2040 are based on.


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