Drilling Deeper: Reality Check on USG Forecasts for Tight Oil & Shale Gas

5 11 2014

Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts

Sample findings:
  • Four of the top seven U.S. shale gas plays have peaked: The top seven shale gas plays account for 88% of current production and 88% of the EIA’s forecast of cumulative production through 2040, but four of these plays are already in decline.
  • In addition to the 50,000 wells already in place, 130,000 additional shale gas wells will need to be drilled by 2040 to meet projections, requiring $910 billion of capital input.
  • Tight oil production from all major plays in the U.S. will peak before 2020, and barring major new discoveries on the scale of the Bakken or Eagle Ford, production will be far below EIA’s forecast by 2040.
  • By 2040, tight oil production rates from the Bakken and Eagle Ford will be less than a tenth of that projected by EIA, and production from other plays is likely overstated.

The reality is that the government’s long-term forecasts—the ones everyone is relying on to guide our energy policy and planning—are wildly optimistic. The “shale revolution” is a short-term bubble and not worth the risks to the environment and to our communities. Arm yourselves with the facts to counter this misinformation.

Expect a follow-up soon with details on a briefing for activists and further resources on these important new findings.




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