Shale gas backtracking takes ‘gloss’ off new fuel

BG Group is cutting back on shale gas activity in the States, it revealed in its annual strategy update last week. Analysts believe this is part of a wider trend […]

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By Vicky Ellis

BG Group is cutting back on shale gas activity in the States, it revealed in its annual strategy update last week. Analysts believe this is part of a wider trend as the “gloss” comes off the new fuel source.

BG expects its US rig count to fall from 35 to around eight this year “in response to the current low gas price” and anticipates around 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from US shale gas in 2015, a step down from its previous estimate of more than 100,000 boepd.

Peter Kiernan, Energy Analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit suggested hype over shale gas is slowing for the time being, with some EU countries such as Bulgaria banning fracking for shale outright.

He said: “Low natural gas prices in the US, the downgrade of shale gas resource estimates by the EIA, and operators such as BG Group and others cutting back on activity have taken some of the gloss off the shale gas bonanza for the time being.

However, Mr Kiernan added: “The trendstill points to growth in shale play developments in North America, but low gas prices have re-directed this towards plays that are “liquids-rich” and which produce light, tightoil that can attract higher prices.”