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Index > United States of America > At what rate will the new hydrofractured horizontal wells continue to produce gas?

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Halliburton Loophole

"Father of Fracking"
George Mitchell
concerns over environmental
impacts of fracking

History of Fracking
Only a new technology

USA Fracking Stories

A Texan tragedy

Gas injection may have triggered earthquakes in Texas

California Lags in Fracking Regulations

All In for California Water

Fracking in Michigan

Fracking in Michigan Potential Impact on Health, Environment, Economy

Hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale

Methane Gas from Marcellus Shale Drilling

Marcellus Shale Gas Economics

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Pennsylvania Fracking

Fracking in Virginia

Lesson From Wyoming Fracking

Water Pollution from Fracking

Hydraulic Fracturing Poses Substantial Water Pollution Risks

Methane in drinking water wells

Abandoned gas wells leak

Natural Gas Leaks Discovered in Boston

Methane Leaks Under Streets of Boston

Methane leaks make fracking dirty

Fracking effects real estate values

Fracking stimulates earthquakes

Protecting Gas Pipelines From Earthquakes

Gas Pipeline Earthquake - Simulations

America's crumbling pipelines

Averting Pipeline Failures

Dangers to Underground Pipelines

Gas Pipelines Could Serve as Wireless Links

Government Action needed on a National Energy Policy

EPA Releases Update on Ongoing Hydraulic Fracturing Study

Solar Booster Shot for Natural Gas Power Plants

Natural Gas Pricing Reform to Facilitate Carbon Tax Policy

Investing in fracking

What Oil Prices Have in Store?

Methane Out, Carbon Dioxide In

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Professor Ingraffea

Anti-Fracking Billboard

Natural Gas Drilling

Threats to Biodiversity

Pronghorn Migration
hindered by gas development

Microbes in a Fracking Site

Protozoa May Hold Key to World Water Safety

Shale Gas Production

Research into the Fracking Controversy

Convert Methane Into Useful Chemicals

Methane Natural Gas Into Diesel

'Natural Gas' at the molecular level

Arctic Methane risks

Arctic Methane Seeps

Great Gas Hydrate Escape

Undersea Methane Seep Ecosystem

Methane in the Atmosphere of Early Earth

Methane Natural Gas Linked to Climate Change

Cutting Methane Pollutants Would Slow Sea Level Rise

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Shale Gas


National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Gas production in the Barnett Shale obeys a simple scaling theory

Significance

Ten years ago, US natural gas cost 50% more than that from Russia.

Now, it is threefold less. US gas prices plummeted because of the shale gas revolution.

However, a key question remains:

At what rate will the new hydrofractured horizontal wells in shales continue to produce gas?

We analyze the simplest model of gas production consistent with basic physics of the extraction process.

Its exact solution produces a nearly universal scaling law for gas wells in each shale play, where production first declines as 1 over the square root of time and then exponentially.

The result is a surprisingly accurate description of gas extraction from thousands of wells in the United States’ oldest shale play, the Barnett Shale.

Abstract

Natural gas from tight shale formations will provide the United States with a major source of energy over the next several decades.

Estimates of gas production from these formations have mainly relied on formulas designed for wells with a different geometry.

We consider the simplest model of gas production consistent with the basic physics and geometry of the extraction process.

In principle, solutions of the model depend upon many parameters, but in practice and within a given gas field, all but two can be fixed at typical values, leading to a nonlinear diffusion problem we solve exactly with a scaling curve.

The scaling curve production rate declines as 1 over the square root of time early on, and it later declines exponentially.

This simple model provides a surprisingly accurate description of gas extraction from 8,294 wells in the United States’ oldest shale play, the Barnett Shale. There is good agreement with the scaling theory for 2,057 horizontal wells in which production started to decline exponentially in less than 10 y.

The remaining 6,237 horizontal wells in our analysis are too young for us to predict when exponential decline will set in, but the model can nevertheless be used to establish lower and upper bounds on well lifetime.

Finally, we obtain upper and lower bounds on the gas that will be produced by the wells in our sample, individually and in total.

The estimated ultimate recovery from our sample of 8,294 wells is between 10 and 20 trillion standard cubic feet.


Tad W. Patzeka,1,
Frank Maleb, and
Michael Marderb

Edited by Michael Celia, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and accepted by the Editorial Board October 2, 2013 (received for review July 17, 2013)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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