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Antrim Shale sees decreasing output

Oilfield Technology,

Investors and major oil and gas producers are increasingly pulling out of Michigan’s Antrim Shale as gas production has been falling in recent years, according to a new report by Global Data.

The latest report* states that in recent years natural gas production from the shale has been decreasing, while a national overabundance has led to a decline in gas prices, thereby largely impacting investor interest in the shale.

Antrim Shale had production levels of 131 billion ft3 in 2008, but this had dropped to 85 billion ft3 by last year, the figure is predicted to drop as low as 62 billion ft3 by 2020. The field’s rapid maturation has led the number of requested permits to drop rapidly from 1446 in 2006 down to just 43 in 2011. Major oil and gas producers have instead chosen to invest in newer shale areas with more potential.

Only two of Antrim Shale’s top 10 producing companies have actually increased their volumes of gas production from the shale over the past two years, with Linn Operating Inc. and Chevron Michigan producing 13.9 billion ft3 and 8.3 billion ft3 respectively in 2011 – although neither company had gas development projects in the shale previous to 2010. In February of last year, Chevron entered in the Antrim shale and has since marked its presence in the play with the acquisition of Atlas Energy Inc.

However, the other once major Antrim Shale gas producers such as Terra Energy Corporation, Ward Lake Energy and Muskegon Development Company have steadily decreased their gas production from the play over the last few years.

Adapted from press release by Peter Farrell.

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