Shale gas proves more resilient than U.S. government expected

By Keystone Clearwater Solutions -

America’s energy explorers have become so good at pulling natural gas out of the ground that government forecasters are having a hard time figuring out how much they’re producing. 

This month, the Marcellus shale formation of the eastern United States, the country’s biggest gas play, will yield 17.4 billion cubic feet a day, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday. That’s almost 2 billion cubic feet, or 11 percent, more than the agency had forecast last month. It said the field’s output was revised based on more recent production data from Pennsylvania.

It’s a blow for bullish gas traders who’ve been waiting for drillers to curb output and rescue the market from futures trading near a 17-year low. The agency’s revision suggests that it may take longer than analysts had previously forecast to slow the flow from the Marcellus, a scenario that would keep the biggest stockpile glut since 2012 expanding and prices under pressure.

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