Concerns Remain About How Quick Shale Well Production Will Decline

From EnergyWire:
As energy companies began to sink horizontal wells into the Barnett Shale of north-central Texas a decade ago, a distinctive production curve appeared that has become a strong visual symbol in the debate about the future of the vast U.S. shale gas resources.
Gas production shot up to 1,600 million cubic feet per day in the first three months of an average Barnett well's life -- four times the top output level for conventional, vertically drilled wells, according to IHS Inc., a leading energy analysis firm.
And then just as quickly, production plunged. After a year's time, output had dropped by half, to 800 million cubic feet daily. The number was down to 200 million cubic feet daily after seven years.
That steeply spiked decline curve with its shrinking tail end is a signature of other U.S. shale plays, a picture that figures critically in the question of how much natural gas will flow in decades to come. The initial burst of new gas from horizontal shale gas wells gives a dramatic boost to supply. But the thinning deliveries in the out years mean that new wells, or reworked old ones, are required to maintain supply.
Read the whole article here. 

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