Shale-Gas Skeptic’s Supply Doubts Draw Wrath of Devon Energy  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

Bloomberg has an article on the interesting saga of Arthur Berman and hos views about unconventional gas production from shale - Shale-Gas Skeptic’s Supply Doubts Draw Wrath of Devon.

Arthur Berman runs a one-man energy consulting firm out of his home near Houston, producing research that says forecasts for natural-gas production in the U.S. are flawed. He’s won the industry’s attention and its anger.

Since last month, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Devon Energy Corp., two of the five largest gas producers in the U.S., attacked Berman’s claims. Berman, 59, had his monthly column pulled from the November issue of World Oil after gas companies complained, prompting him to quit the trade journal.

Oil geologist Berman, who worked two decades for Amoco Corp., says company production projections for so-called shale gas in the U.S. are at least double what drill results justify. At issue are the rates of production decline in shale wells, where water, sand and other materials are injected to fracture rock and make gas flow.

“I think that the wells decline at a much higher rate than the operators think they do,” Berman said in an interview in Houston. “They’re being overly optimistic.”

Companies such as Chesapeake, which had climbed 55 percent this year before today in New York stock trading, say their shale wells will produce for four or more decades. In an Oct. 12 speech at a conference in Denver, Berman said data he’s seen filed with the Texas Railroad Commission suggests the life of shale-gas wells is 10 to 20 years.

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