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Pace of Marcellus, Utica natgas output to accelerate -ICF report

27/06/2014 by


Natural gas production in the prolific Marcellus and Utica shale formations is projected to grow 36 percent by 2035 as improvement in drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology continues, ICF International said in its latest quarterly report.

Abundant sources of natural gas are expected to spur increased demand for gas from new petrochemical plants and other expanded manufacturing facilities, from exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), for transportation and for power generation as pollution standards tighten.

The ICF report said gas output from Marcellus and Utica plays may grow to 34 billion cubicfeet (Bcf) per day by 2035, up from the 25 Bcf per day projected in the first quarter report.

ICF attributes part of the 9-Bcf per day jump to the fact that Utica wells are “more gassy” than initially expected. “Gas production growth from the Utica wells is expected to be much greater,” ICF said.

Increased drilling and fracking efficiency is expected to boost the output of each well over time, also called “estimated ultimate recovery” per well, ICF said.

Well data from producers suggests ultimate recovery of gas in the Marcellus will average 6.2 Bcf per well, up from 5.2 Bcf per well in the last report, ICF. Utica gas recovery is projected to average 3.3 Bcf per well, up from 2.5 Bcf in the last report.

Unlike most conventional oil and gas formations, production in shale regions continues to rise even as the U.S. rig count has fallen.

As each rig drills more wells, ICF expects more wells to be completed and able to produce, according to the report.

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