By Wesley Brown
As the nation’s shale gas inventories touched an all-time high in 2013, Arkansas is now the fourth-largest shale gas producer in the U.S. behind only Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced in a new report released on Tuesday.
According to the EIA’s “Natural Gas Annual” report, gross withdrawals from shale gas wells increased from five billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2007 to 33 Bcf/d in 2013, representing 40% of total natural gas production. Total U.S. natural gas gross withdrawals also reached a new high at 82 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2013.
“New technology has enabled producers to shift production to resources that are now easier to reach and have lower drilling costs,” the EIA report said. “These trends have been reflected in a lower market price of natural gas.”
In 2007, shale gas wells made up only 8% of total natural gas produced in the United States, with 63% of shale gas production coming from Texas. Since then, the distribution of shale gas production by state has changed significantly in the United States, especially in Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Arkansas. These states accounted for 26 Bcf/d, or 79%, of U.S shale production in 2013, the EIA said.
Here are some of the highlights in U.S. shale production that has taken place over that seven year span:
- Arkansas became the fourth-largest shale gas producing state, accounting for 2.8 Bcf/d, or 9%, of U.S. shale gas production in 2013. All of its shale gas production growth came from the Fayetteville (Shale) play.
- Texas shale gas production increased from 3 Bcf/d in 2007 to 11 Bcf/d in 2013. Most of its shale gas production growth came from the Barnett, Eagle Ford, and Haynesville-Bossier plays.
- Pennsylvania became the second-largest shale gas producing state in 2013, producing 8 Bcf/d, with almost all the growth coming from the Marcellus play. Shale gas production from the Utica play is increasing, but this volume remains small by comparison.
- Louisiana produced a minimal amount of shale gas in 2007, but it produced 4 Bcf/d in 2013. All of this growth came from the Haynesville play, which stretches across North Louisiana into South Arkansas.