Shale Gas Reality Check

David Hughes and the Post Carbon Institute are out with a quick must read "Shale Gas Reality Check," an update to their "Drilling Deeper" report released last fall. You might remember that shale industry group Energy in Depth posted a critical response to Drilling Deeper, and I had an absolute blast responding to that.

"The future production of shale gas plays is a function of well quality variation by area, drilling rates, decline rates and number of available drilling locations. Although much is made by industry of the role of technological improvements in increasing the amount of gas recovered per well, an analysis of the country’s largest shale gas play, the Marcellus, shows that after a period of growth in the 2012 to early 2014 period, well productivity is declining in the play overall and in the sweet spot counties" Hughes writes.

And on over-optimistic EIA projections, Hughes adds "...we are led to believe that shale gas will be even more abundant in the future than projected just a year ago, setting the stage for a robust LNG export industry, and greater industrial and power sector use, all at relatively low prices. Getting it wrong has very serious implications for energy policy and future energy security..."