U.S. shale gas production has increased 12-fold over the past decade, according to Energy Solution Inc.'s Natural Gas Price Outlook. Shale gas drilling now accounts for about half of the total active rigs targeting natural gas in the U.S.
Shale gas is natural gas stored in organic-rich, very fine-grained rocks such as shale, mudstone, or laminated siltstones. According to the report, shale gas will account for a greater share of future overall natural gas production due to advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies.
There is still the question of exactly how much shale gas exists. One of the fastest growing shale basins is the Marcellus Shale basin. Extending across parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia, the Marcellus Shale is estimated to hold approximately 76 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas. Several new plays also are under evaluation; just two of these plays are estimated to hold approximately 122 Tcf of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas.
Energy Solutions reports that even though shale gas extraction is still in its infancy stages, it has had a strong impact in the natural gas industry. U.S. natural gas production has climbed at a “staggering” pace, while natural gas prices have fallen to 10-year lows. Natural gas supplies have been outpacing demand, but analysis shows that trend begins to change toward the end of 2013.
The Natural Gas Price Outlook, published twice a year, takes an in-depth look at how shale gas production will change, altering long-term natural gas pricing structures, the flow of gas supplies, and consumer expectations over the next several years.
For more information, visit www.NaturalGasOutlook.com.