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Page added on August 29, 2008

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How the summer of shale changed the natural gas game

It wasn’t so long ago analysts were anticipating declining North American gas supplies. But those gloomy forecasts are being revised to reflect booming development of unconventional gas reserves, notably those trapped in hard-to-tap shale rock.

Driven by sharply rising shale gas volumes, U.S. production of natural gas is on track to rise by more than 6 per cent this year. In a jointly funded report, the gas distributors say North American production is now expected to increase 16 per cent by 2015, and 30 per cent by 2030. The prospect of booming production has triggered a dramatic selloff in natural gas futures, bringing prices 40 per cent below their July peak.
The steep decline may be tested this weekend by the prospect of a hurricane hitting the Gulf of Mexico, but prices are expected to settle in a lower range.

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