US firms learning important lessons from shale

The United States has been learning vital lessons in the shale gas industry and as a result is creating opportunities many didn’t think were possible. This is according to geologist […]

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By Tom Gibson

The United States has been learning vital lessons in the shale gas industry and as a result is creating opportunities many didn’t think were possible. This is according to geologist Allen Gilmer who runs Drillinginfo, an educational firm which offers statistical insights for the oil and gas industries.

Speaking in London last week Mr Gilmer told listeners shale was “history” already, as junk rock is increasingly being examined in terms of fracking: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This is certainly true in the States.”

According to his presentation, the United States is just 11 years away from reaching its peak oil output and it is because there are so many new and innovative methods being learnt on the shale plays.

One of the techniques being learnt is that re-fracking some wells can produce more gas on the third or fourth frack than from the original process. Another method is a ‘simultaneous frack’, where many pipes are drilled and fracked at the same time- Mr Gilmer said some plays saw a 25% increase in production as a result.

It is lessons such as these that are making investment opportunities so interesting, he suggested. Mr Gilmer added clever plays could get major rewards: “In some instances you can buy into a well when it’s at the end of its life, only for it to become more valuable when a new fracking process begins.”