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Hughes report on “extremely optimistic” shale forecast at Oilprice.com

November 15, 2019

Post Carbon Fellow David J. Hughes latest report Shale Reality Check 2019,  which assesses the viability of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) shale forecasts in its Annual Energy Outlook 2019, was featured in this article at Oilprice.com.

From the article:

The industry has boosted productivity by drilling longer laterals, intensifying the use of water and frac sand, as well as increasing the number of fracking stages. These productivity improvements are “undeniable,” Hughes writes.

However, the “limits of technology and exploiting sweet spots are becoming evident, however, as in some plays new wells are exhibiting lower productivities,” Hughes says. “More aggressive technology, coupled with longer horizontal laterals, allows each well to drain more reservoir area, but reduces the number of drilling locations and therefore does not necessarily increase the total recovery from a play—it just allows the resource to be recovered more quickly.”

Already, some shale plays have seen production plateau while others are in decline.

In short, Hughes says that of the 13 major shale plays analyzed in the PCI report, the EIA has “extremely optimistic” outlooks for nine of them. Of the remaining four, three of them are “highly optimistic,” and only one – the Woodford Play in Oklahoma – is ranked as “moderately optimistic.”

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