Leading the Way

By Staff Report | April 22, 2013

In only 6.5 years, the U.S. could become a net exporter of natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The supply of shale gas from the Bakken will be a large factor. In its 2013 outlook on shale gas and tight oil developments, the EIA has projected that both shale gas and tight oil produced from the Bakken will be among the leading suppliers from shale plays in the country. 

Although takeaway capacity for both oil and gas in the Bakken play represents the largest obstacle for greater use of the region’s resources, the EIA offered its own assessment of larger factors that could impede the use of gas and tight oil. Dependence on imported liquids in the future, the EIA says, will depend on both supply and demand and a number of other uncertainties that include: resource quantities and distribution, surface versus mineral rights, risk appetite of industry participants, infrastructure and technology advancements, and, environmental constraints. 

For Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department ofMineral Resources, the main concerns of producers in the region continue to be environmental constraints or regulations affecting proven operational processes. Robust areas include: demand for product is strong, mineral rights are always acquirable, industry participants are not displaying risk averse tendencies, infrastructure is coming and the technology is already proven.