Part 2 of 3 in a series covering the 2009 Developing Unconventional Gas Conference
By Austin Eudaly
Currently, we are seeing what is being commonly referred to as a natural gas glut in the US. Today, we have an over abundance of supply, and a not so copious demand. Thomas Gardner
, Director for Simmons & Co. International discussed the causes and cures for this issue. Below are the highlights.
-There are several reasons as to why the US has a natural gas glut currently.
-In the late 1990’s the US natural gas supply was challenged. In 2001 production fell from 56 Bcf to 51 Bcf per day. In order to remedy this, the industry needed to increase production. The industry so successful in meeting this need, that supply exceeded 10% growth each year. Production rates went form 51 Bcf to 59 Bcf per day in 3 years time.
-This was not necessarily a bad thing. But suddenly, before we knew it, we had a problem. With all of the new natural gas coming to market via the prolific shale plays such as the Barnett Shale/ Fayetteville/ Haynesville etc., we had an oversupply problem occur. This, coupled with a decrease in demand brought on by last years economic crash has caused natural gas prices to fall to the miserly level they are now.
Hence, in Mr. Gardner’s opinion, here is the main cause of the “gas glut”.
“The over supply of natural gas was driven largely by impressive supply growth coupled with recession related demand destruction that can only be cured by a reduction in supply and/or increase in demand -- In short, E&P’s are largely a victim of their own success.”
In closing, Mr. Gardner gave a charge to the E&P industry and investors for 2009:
“Stay Alive until 2010” He felt this was a crucial outlook to have as 2009 will be a tough year for everyone. He is optimistic about 2010 and beyond though for the natural gas industry.
The Pickens Plan and Clean Energy Fuels
Andrew J. Littlefair, President and CEO of the Clean Energy Fuels Corporation spoke briefly about the current state of everything green relating to the petroleum industry. All of you have likely seen or heard about Mr. T. Boone Pickens plan for national energy. Mr. Littleair is Boone’s right hand man in these matters. A few quick highlights over his talk:
- Mr. Littlefair believes that their company is making great headway in local and state governing bodies to create demand for Natural Gas fueled trucking fleets.
- It makes sense: Cleaner, Cheaper, Domestic
-Over 118 years of natural gas reserves in the US
- Increased reserves 42% in the last 10 years
- 13% increase just in 2007
- New discoveries: 21 shale basins in 20 states
In addition, there was a good deal of technical jargon discussed that the majority of you might not care to sit through and read. Personally, I’d rather watch the Masters this weekend with some chips and salsa than look at a lot of mud logs and economic graphs. So I’ll spare you the information on those topics for now. If anyone that has specific questions regarding those types of issues, please feel free to email at the information given below.
So what can you as a land owner/ mineral owner do at home to help improve the situation in the US today for natural gas?
-Continue to speak with local representatives and share your opinions on the petroleum industry
- Get involved to try and push for CNG incentives
- And as one speaker put it, “Find a friend and tell him to burn gas”
On Monday...Which shale play is king??