Non-conventional gas drives US natgas output up 7.5% - BP

10 June 2009 17:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Strong activity in the development of non-conventional gas resources raised natural gas output in the US by 7.5% in 2008, the highest ever annual increase in US production, said BP’s chief economist on Wednesday.

The share of non-conventional gas in total US production has grown from 28% in 1998 to around 50% last year, explained Christof Ruehl. 

“They are, in fact, becoming conventional,” he added.

The US petrochemical industry relies on natural gas for nearly all of its feedstock

Non-conventional gas in the US includes shale, tight gas and coal-bed methane.

At the launch of BP’s 2009 World Energy Statistical Review, Ruehl explained that higher gas prices in the past had resulted in the drilling for these deposits to soar and technological advances have allowed output per rig employed to rise exponentially.

Such growth has allowed US Henry Hub gas prices to be among the lowest in the world, he noted.

At a record discount to residual fuel oil prices last year, the use of gas was favoured in power generation and industry. This could also help the US to lower carbon emissions by switching to gas, Ruehl added.

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By: Peter Taffe
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