Editor’s note: The price of natural gas will be the target price for new wind turbines if the wind industry is to regain its growth curve. Hence, it’s important to know of other perspectives on the future of the fuel. Also, with wind and gas being the two low cost electricity producers, it is quite possible for the two to work well together, each as a compliment to the other.
According to Energy Solution Inc.’s Natural Gas Price Outlook, U.S. shale gas production has increased 12-fold over the past decade and shale gas drilling 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, fine-grained rocks such as shale, mudstone, or laminated siltstones. Technical challenges and cost issues previously deterred shale gas development. However, technological advancements have made it possible to develop shale gas resources efficiently and economically. Advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked an unprecedented opportunity for the natural gas industry, transforming the U.S. into a natural gas giant.
According to Energy Solutions’ price outlook, shale gas will account for a greater share of future overall natural gas production. What is questionable, however, is 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 about 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 about 122 Tcf of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas.
U.S. natural gas production has climbed at a staggering pace, while natural gas prices have fallen to ten-year lows. Natural gas supplies have been outpacing demand, but that begins to change toward the end of 2013. The price outlook is said to take 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.
The Outlook is said to provide tools needed to implement a cost-effective natural gas strategy for the next 24 to 36 months. This $349, 50-plus page, analysis evaluates numerous price drivers.
Energy Solutions Inc.
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