Saturday, February 27, 2010

100 Years of Natural Gas Supply from Shale? It’s More Like 6 Years.

The widespread belief that there is 100 years of natural gas supply in the U.S. because of shale plays is incorrect. The Potential Gas Committee (PGC) estimated 1,836 Tcf of technically recoverable gas resources for the U.S. in its report released in June 2009. Along with proved reserves of 238 Tcf, there are 2,074 Tcf or 85 years of total supply based on current demand of 25 Tcf per year (EIA). The contribution of shale gas is 661 Tcf, or about one-third
of the total, technically recoverable resource (Figure 1). The PGC estimate of probable resource volume is 441 Tcf, or about 18 years of supply. Shale gas accounts for one-third of that amount, or 147 Tcf, which is about 6 years of supply at current U.S. demand. That is a lot of gas, but far less than the volume that is routinely stated in the press or by shale-gas advocates. These public statements often do not take high decline rates or anticipated future demand growth into account.

Friday, February 26, 2010

ExxonMobil’s Acquisition of XTO Energy: The Fallacy of the Manufacturing Model in Shale Plays

See the original full post on The Oil Drum:

Most analysts believe that the ExxonMobil acquisition of XTO Energy (XTO) represents a dramatic shift in strategy by the premier exploration and production (E&P) company, and a validation of shale plays. It is neither. The move represents a considered and deliberate choice that acknowledges diminished opportunities for the oil giant to add and replace reserves. The acquisition acknowledges that natural gas is the only viable short-term solution to North America’s energy needs, and that demand will grow. It implies that ExxonMobil believes that higher natural gas prices will be part of that energy future. It presumes that the company can improve on the flawed manufacturing model that has dominated the way that U.S. shale plays have been pursued.

ExxonMobil’s acquisition of XTO only seems dramatic to those who have not paid attention to the company’s strategy and change in project mix over the past decade. Its portfolio consisted of 75% unconventional resources before the XTO acquisition (Figure 1) with a strong emphasis on tight, acid and sour gas, LNG, and heavy oil projects. Tim Cejka, President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, told The Wall Street Journal last year that his company has been “bullish” on shale plays since 2003 (Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2009). David Rosenthal, ExxonMobil Vice President of Investor Relations recently said, “It’s not a strategic shift” (Houston Chronicle, February 2, 2010).

See the rest of the original full post on The Oil Drum:

Implications of Exxon Mobil acquisition of XTO Energy Presentation February 2010

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