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GTI Details Technological, Production Trends

GTI Details Technological, Production Trends

A report released last week by the newly named Gas Technology Institute (created by the merger of GRI and the Institute of Gas Technology) predicts that technological advances will increase the economic lower-48 resource base by 250 Tcf and Canadian recoverable resources by 125 Tcf.

The report, titled Natural Gas Supply Sector Summary, examines the ongoing expansion of North American gas supply and the steady technological advances that will be required to continue those increases over the next 15 years.

It predicts that the upward trend in drilling success rates will continue. By 2015, development and exploratory success rates are expected to approach 85 and 30%, respectively. Producers will reap these benefits as contributions to their bottom lines. It also predicts that onshore and offshore drilling costs per foot will decline in all depth ranges. Advanced bits, drilling fluids, better rig designs, and greatly improved operating efficiency will contribute to this reduction.

The report also provides some forecasts on production. For example, Central and Western Gulf of Mexico gas production is projected to increase to levels in excess of 8 Tcf by 2015. Canadian gas production is projected to grow from 5.8 Tcf (1998) to 7.7 Tcf by 2015. Activity in western Canada is expected to increase substantially, with production increasing by 1.4 Tcf by 2015. Emerging production from offshore eastern Canada is projected to reach 0.6 Tcf.

Deep onshore production (depths greater than 15,000 feet) is projected to increase to 3.5 Tcf per year by 2015, representing 19% of onshore production. In particular, deep gas production in the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast region is expected to account for about 60% of the projected lower-48 onshore deep production increase. Deep gas activity and production is also expected to increase in the Permian Basin and Midcontinent.

"Technology has helped producers survive the 1998 slump and position themselves to produce into today's attractive $4 gas and $30 crude oil price environments," noted John Cochener, GTI project manager and principal analyst-resource evaluation.

"Technology has been a facilitator to allow producers to develop new gas supply niches. For example, before the mid-1980s, coal-bed methane production was essentially zero. Today, it contributes 1.2 Tcf annually to gas production and represents 6.5% of supply," he noted. "The deep-water Gulf of Mexico and Ft. Liard region of Canada are two fresh examples of emerging gas supply."

The report (GRI-00/0012) can be ordered directly from the GTI Document Fulfillment Center by fax at (630) 406-5995. It costs $30 for GTI members and $40 for nonmembers, plus shipping and handling.

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