“Free” NatGas in Texas Permian Changes Shale Gas Economics in M-U

We spotted an article appearing on the Forbes magazine website that has a chart that stopped us cold in our tracks. The article was written by Jude Clemente, one of our favorite contributors to the Forbes website. He includes three charts in the article to update folks who have an interest in the natural gas space (the article is titled 3 Natural Gas Charts To End Winter 2018). The first chart in the list is “U.S. Natural Gas Wellhead Breakevens by Basin” and shows how much money a driller must make in order to break even–still make a profit. How much money, on average, does a driller have to make per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in, for example, the Marcellus Shale basin in order to stay profitable? That number would be $2.15/Mcf. Anything above $2.15 and the driller makes money. (Bear in mind these are averages. Some drillers, like Cabot Oil & Gas, have lower expenses and can make money at much lower prices per Mcf than others.) What about the Utica? Drillers need to make an average of $2.41/Mcf in the Utica to break even. But at the top of the chart is a rather wild number. Drillers in the Permian Basin (in Texas) can LOSE or spend up to $2.36/Mcf and still “break even.” What? How can that be?…

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