July EIA DPR – Utica Stands Alone with Higher Natgas Production

MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, published the latest monthly Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) yesterday. Once again, like the June report, this latest report shows that over the next month natural gas production (and oil production) from the country’s seven largest shale plays will decrease. Last month was a milestone/first: Marcellus Shale production slipped (see A Sad First: EIA’s June DPR Reports Marcellus Production Slips). That trend continued and accelerated in the July report (which forecasts production over the next 30 days). Last month Marcellus production decreased by 28 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d). This month? It will decrease by 41 Mmcf/d. Natgas production from all seven shale plays together will take their deepest dive yet–down 260 Mmcf/d from the previous month. However, to put it in perspective, that’s down just 6/10ths of one percent, or 0.6%. It’s hardly a bloodbath. There is one bright spot with respect to natural gas production. Utica Shale natgas production was, once again, higher in this month’s report than in last month’s report. Natgas production in the Utica was up 42 Mmcf/d in June, and up 22 Mmcf/d in July. The Utica is newer and contains natural gas liquids, typically making it more profitable to drill than the Marcellus. Also, a number of new pipelines already in the works have continued to come online in the Utica. For those two reasons the little Utica continues to rock on while all of the other shale plays, including the mighty Marcellus, tapper off…

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