Natural gas production from the Antrim shale of Michigan basin is dropping because most oil and gas companies are focusing on better-known unconventional plays elsewhere in the US, said a report by GlobalData of London.
Antrim shale production was 85 bcf in 2011 compared with 131 bcf in 2008. GlobalData forecast that production will stabilize at 62 bcf by 2020. The production comes from shallow zones in Devonian black shales in northern Michigan.
Many oil and gas players companies have redirected capital expenditure to more promising plays, such as the Barnett shale, Bakken formation, Marcellus shale, Niobrara shale, and Haynesville shale.
Only two of Antrim shale’s top 10 producing companies increased their gas production from the shale during the past 2 years. Linn Operating Inc. produced 13.9 bcf in 2011 after acquiring Antrim shale holdings the previous year (OGJ Online, Mar. 29, 2010).
Chevron Michigan produced 8.3 bcf from the Antrim shale in 2011, GlobalData said, adding Chevron marked its presence in the Antrim shale with the acquisition of Atlas Energy Inc., a Pittsburgh independent (OGJ Online, Nov. 9, 2010).
Other Antrim shale gas producers such as Terra Energy Corp., Ward Lake Energy, and Muskegon Development Co. steadily decreased their gas production from the play over the last few years, GlobalData said.
The number of permits issued for Antrim shale development dropped to 43 in 2011 compared with 1,446 in 2006, GlobalData said.