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M. A. Mian, December 18, 2015

U.S. shale gas production was 5% of total U.S. dry gas production in 2004, 10% in 2007, and is now 52% in 2015. Shale resources remain the dominant source of U.S. natural gas production growth. The total gas production is expected to increase from the current 26.43 TSCF/year in 2015 to 35.45 TSCF/year in 2040.

Current production from the Shale gas is 13.62 TSCF/year in 2015 and it is expected to increase to 19.58 TSCF/year in 2040. The following table shows the US Gas forecast by EIA. The supply from shale gas is expected to contribute around 55% of the total US gas requirement.

A typical shale gas forecast is being developed using actual average production of 100 shale gas wells as shown in Fig. 2. A 7% per year exponential decline is assumed when the hyperbolic decline forecast drops below 7%.

  1. Is it logistically possible to drill 7,560 wells a year? Some 600 rig years will be required.
  2. Would there be enough funds available (magnitude of $45 to $60 billion per year) noting that most of the players in the shale gas plays are smaller independents not the majors like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and so on.