Abundance of U.S. Shale Gas Creates Illusion of Oversupply, Says ConocoPhillips Official


A ConocoPhillips official stated on October 12 that the recently discovered abundance of shale gas in the country has produced a false perception of significant oversupplies.

"The talk of shale makes everyone think we're way oversupplied," Jim Duncan, ConocoPhillips' chief analyst and commodities markets strategist, stated at the LDC Gas Forum Rockies & West in Los Angeles, Platts reports. "The reality is that we're not. The signposts are already here."

Duncan said that one concern about the future of gas is the fact that many drilling rigs are moving to oil- and liquids-rich gas fields from pure-play gas fields. This could cause a significant shift in gas prices, according to Duncan. 

Other factors that could affect the existing supply and demand include public concerns related to fracking, what type of power is used for production and a migration of drilling rigs to gas fields abundant in natural gas liquids and oil from fields that only contain gas, Duncan said.

Predictions for global gas reserves are around 6,000 trillion cubic feet, with North American reserves accounting for almost one-quarter of that amount. However, any of the aforementioned factors could quickly change these estimates.

Although the reserves of natural gas in the United States might be overstated, the downward pressure this abundance has placed on natural prices cannot be ignored, according to Oilweek magazine.