EIA Adds New Plays to Shale Gas, Tight Oil Reports
The agency updated its methodology and production volume estimates to factor increasing production from new, emerging plays as well as older plays that have rebounded thanks to drilling advancements.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has added new play production data to its shale gas and tight oil reports. Last December, US shale and tight plays produced approximately 65 Bcf/D of natural gas and 7 million B/D of crude oil, accounting for 70% and 60% of US production in those areas, respectively. These totals represent a significant jump in the last 10 years: shale gas and tight oil accounted for 16% of total US gas production and approximately 12% of US total crude oil production, according to EIA statistics.
EIA updated its production volume estimates to include seven additional shale gas and tight oil plays, increasing the share of shale gas by 9% and tight oil by 8% compared with previously estimated shale production volumes. The change captures increasing production from new, emerging plays as well as from older plays that had previously been in decline, but are now rebounding because of advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
These plays include the Mississippian formation, located mainly within the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma. While the play has produced liquids and natural gas for some time, newer completion techniques have driven recent production gains. EIA said the Mississippian is the most productive of the newly added plays in its ledger.
The other plays included are the Burket and Geneseo formations in the Appalachian Basin of Pennsylvania and West Virginia; the Uteland Butte member of the Green River formation in the Utah’s Uinta Basin; and the Turner, Frontier, Sussex-Shannon, and Teapot-Parkman formations in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.
Burket and Geneseo are dry-shale-gas formations that lie above the Marcellus Shale but do not cover as large an area as the Marcellus. The Uteland Butte comprises primarily limestone, dolostone, and organic-rich mudstones and siltstones. The other formations are mainly fine-grained sandstone with interbedded silt and shale. They lie below and above the Niobrara formation, the Powder River Basin’s primary hydrocarbon-bearing formation.