Shale gas proves more resilient than U.S. government expected
March 13 2016
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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