gas

While naysayers have been claiming that the natural-gas revolution is more of a flash in the pan riddled with problems than an economic boon built to last, a comprehensive new study from the University of Texas concludes that the rate of natural gas production is only going to keep increasing for decades to come before it eventually plateaus out. The WSJ reports:

U.S. natural-gas production will accelerate over the next three decades, new research indicates, providing the strongest evidence yet that the energy boom remaking America will last for a generation.

The most exhaustive study to date of a key natural-gas field in Texas, combined with related research under way elsewhere, shows that U.S. shale-rock formations will provide a growing source of moderately priced natural gas through 2040, and decline only slowly after that. …

The study, funded by the nonpartisan Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and performed by the University of Texas, examined 15,000 wells drilled in the Barnett Shale formation in northern Texas, mostly over the past decade. …

Looking at data from actual wells rather than relying on estimates and extrapolations, the study broadly confirms conclusions by the energy industry and the U.S. government, which in December forecast rising gas production.

“We are looking at multi, multi decades of growth,” said Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the university and a leader of the study.