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Shale Gas from the Barnett Shale to Marcellus Shale

by Kenneth E. DuBose on July 2, 2011

Shale gas has helped boost the economy as mineral owners received royalty checks and lease bonuses during the leasing boom. The great thing about royalties is they should pay for a long time. While we’re focused on the mineral owner, we’ve all benefited from lower electricity prices the past two years.  I’m locked in at close to 10 cents a KWh in Houston.  I was paying much closer to 15 cent/KWh back 5 years ago.

“Not everyone gets a big signing bonus or royalty checks, but drilling has lifted the local economy in a significant way. It boosts job growth and retail sales, and injects serious money into the area.”"And just about every resident benefits from cheaper electricity, courtesy of low natural gas prices. Higher gas production from the Barnett Shale in North Texas and similar formations around the country make that possible.”

“But all is not copasetic, according to recent articles in The New York Times. Last week, Ian Urbina reported on some industry e-mails speculating that shale gas may not be as easy and cheap to extract as companies say, and questioning whether the shale reserves will live up to expectations.”

“What really angered the industry, however, was the Times’ quoting of anonymous sources who compared shale gas plays to giant Ponzi schemes and said companies were misleading the public in the same way that Enron did.”

” ‘Now these corporate giants are having an Enron moment,’ the Times quotes a retired geologist, without naming him.”

“If Exxon Mobil, Chesapeake, Devon and other companies are puffing up their reserves, presumably to boost their stock price, that’s a serious matter for regulators, all right. For the record, the industry disputed the allegations, sometimes in mocking tones, and several sources in the articles issued statements that challenged the Times’ account.”

Read the full news release at star-telegram.com

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