U.S. Shale Boom Has Plenty of Room to Run, Oil and Gas Expert Says

rig-north-dakota_480x320The Street

By The Street Staff

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Oil and gas expert and former Eni executive Leonardo Maugeri believes analysts remain wrong on the prospects for the shale oil and gas boom in the U.S.

“The dire warnings have returned in recent weeks, ” Maugeri writes in a recent analysis, “Why U.S. Shale Keeps Booming.”

Many predict the fall of oil prices will slash production of shale oil and gas, he says, adding, “Yet the U.S. shale oil and gas revolution will likely continue to defy gloomy forecasts.”

Must Read: Oil Prices Stuck in ‘Gray Zone’ for Years and Could Fall Further, Expert Says

Maugeri has been a lone voice in the news for the last few years. In 2012, he accurately predicted the fall in oil prices that has occurred since June, based similarly on assumptions overlooked by most analysts.

Maugeri is currently the senior officiate with the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Previously he worked for 17 years in the industry as a top manager at Italy’s Eni, serving as vice president and as chairman of Eni’s petrochemical unit, Polimeri Europa.

The Bright Future for U.S. Shale Production

A simultaneous boom in fossil fuel extraction technology and the low cost of production in the Marcellus Shale in particular are behind Maugeri’s reasoning. Drilling costs are coming down and productivity per well is increasing, dynamic factors that most analytical models fail to take into account.

“From almost zero in 2000, shale gas production has dramatically ramped up, reaching about 35 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d, equal to 365 Bcm per year) in July 2014,” Maugeri writes. Since 2008, when gas production should have been under pressure from falling prices, it instead “increased almost six-fold,” even as the number of drilling rigs fell.

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