US shale and Utica are astounding
The Utica is a layer of rock underneath parts of the northeast U.S. and eastern Canada. The Utica has gained notoriety because it has become a major source of oil and natural gas due to hydraulic fracking. According to a West Virginia Study,"(The Utica) is much larger than original estimates, and its size and potential recoverable resources are comparable to the Marcellus play, the largest shale oil and gas play in the U.S. and the second-largest in the world." Here are three articles that reported on the study:
1. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
2. Columbus Business First
3. The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
The Utica has been on a roll since the first wells were drilled in 2011. Initially, the Utica was considered a weak step-child of the Marcellus. However, the naysayers underestimated the capability of the play, underestimated the pace of technology development, and underestimated the development of new/refined production methods. Now, in Ohio, more capital investment is flowing into the Utica related opportunity than any other industry – and it is not even close. In the last three years, over $40 billion has been invested in Utica related activity just in Ohio.
Forbes recently published a great article on how Shale is bulldozing the pessimists.
4. Shale Gas Bulldozer Runs Over Pessimists
This article builds off another Forbes article from last year that took to task the peak oil crowd.
5. Peak Shale Gas Proves As Wrong As Peak Oil
“Yet after prices dropped to $1.89/Mcf in 2012, and rigs drilling for gas dropped from 933 to just over 300 . . ., production actually continued increasing, rising another 8 percent in two years. Either the production technology has increased phenomenally or [the peak gas] calculations are flawed (possibly a combination).”
As always, the future of oil and natural gas pricing and production is an unknown. However, those that bet against the viability of the Utica do so at their own risk. To date, the Utica has consistently confounded the doubters!