Daily Archives: October 7, 2010

Sheila McNulty

The shale boom keeps getting better and better. A new report by PFC Energy, the consultancy, shows that the already generous estimates of production from the huge gas field known as the Marcellus Shale were not big enough. Apparently a Pennsylvania law kept well data closed for five years up to August. Now that the data is out, the results, PFC says, are startling.

As of August 1st, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) required that Operators submit the 12 month production records for the dates beginning July 2009 and ending June 2010. After compiling and organizing the data, the DEP released the well production records for those companies which participated in the data submission and the results display some interesting and unique insights into why the Marcellus truly is different than the rest of the shales. An in depth review of the reported well production data shows that the Marcellus Shale appears to be behaving differently than the other shales, with decline rates now estimated at  – 15% as opposed to prior view of around 60%.  These results place the Marcellus wells in an entirely different category from those in other basins.

So if production is not declining as rapidly as was thought, that means US gas production has room to grow even more robustly than anticipated. And as good as that sounds, the US natural gas market already is so glutted, and prices so low, that some companies are contemplating spending millions of dollars converting natural gas import terminals to export terminals and turning the US into a natural gas exporter.

Sheila McNulty

New solar performance maps released by 3TIER, a global leader in renewable energy information services, underline the need to look beyond the ‘it’s always sunny here’ mentality when deciding to go solar. The maps illustrate how solar irradiance varied from its normal monthly averages across the US from June to August of this year. Indeed, the variances were quite significant, often in excess of plus or minus 20 per cent of normal. The company explains why this is significant:

The maps dispel a popular perception that solar energy is relatively consistent from year to year and underscore the need for thorough resources assessments prior to investing in solar projects. Variances in solar irradiance, which are caused by short-term weather anomalies, have a significant impact on the long-term economic viability of both distributed and utility-scale solar power development.

FT Energy Source

- Spill commission faults Obama spill response - Rigzone

GE buys Dresser in $3bn push on energy - FT

- US signs lease for first major offshore wind farm - Reuters

- Reports critical of White House response to BP – FT

- Brazil engineers a critic-proof dam - WSJ

- Agency seeks to tighten rules for ‘green’ labeling – NY Times

- Climate talks struggle as China, US face off – Reuters

- California pipeline blast puts focus on oversight – WSJ 

- BP set to develop Azerbaijan gas field - FT

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