Shale’s Place In The World

By Luke Geiver | December 03, 2017

Shale energy development is a repetitive business. Industry finds cost-effective solutions within the numerous portions of the upstream and midstream sectors and repeats those solutions across well sites, fields, formations or plays. Innovation drives greater efficiencies or production, and market forces contract-or expand-activity levels. For the final issue of the year, we revisited a topic that was more significant and prominent two to three years ago: gas capture technology. As he always does, Patrick C. Miller, staff writer, uncovered and highlighted an important storyline linked to nearly every shale play. Miller's story reminds us that even as shale changes, many facets of the industry are repeated.

After oil prices stalled activity growth, due to the forces of oil prices, shale gas producers are once again faced with the dilemma they encountered pre-oil price drop. In his piece, Game On For Gas Capture Technology, Miller illustrates the massive need and demand that is once again apparent in the Bakken, DJ Basin or Permian. The shale industry is experiencing a repeat. As production picks up and average IPs continue to rise, takeaway and gathering infrastructure capacity is filling up fast and in some cases, maxing out. Multiple sources told us that existing takeaway capacity in places like the Permian or DJ Basin will be full by 2019 at the current pace of production development. Check out Miller’s story to learn what a handful of gas capture and processing technology developers and providers are doing to help meet the near- and long-term demand for undersupplied gas producers in need of infrastructure necessary to move product to market.

Moving product to market is a central tenant of our 2017 snapshot piece. Of all the themes available to us, none seemed as significant in the greater conversation on shale energy than the reality of U.S. shale’s impact and reach across the globe. This year, the evidence of shale’s global role became undeniably clear. Instead of focusing on the popular topic of shale's impact on OPEC, we wanted to pursue something more tangible. To do that, we got in touch with the main leaders involved in turning the Port of Corpus Christi into the shale energy hub of the world. The story of Anne (the 1,093 foot vessel that could be the future of shale oil exports) and of the port’s focus on 54 feet (the magic number that will allow Very Large Crude Carriers to dock at the port without interruption) provides a unique example of how what we do in the shale world—from a writing desk in North Dakota to a rig floor outside of Midland—is truly being recognized by the world. This year was certainly the year that shale gained the world’s attention.

Thank you for including us into your 2017 shale activities.

Luke Geiver