Special Report: GAS SHALE—1: Seven plays dominate North America activity

Seven shale plays dominate today's North America natural gas potential reserves additions and production increases.Contrary to prior expectations of gas strategists and forecasts of gloom,1 today North America is awash in natural gas supply. While reduced demand (–1.6 bcfd) and the new Rockies Express pipeline (0.9 bcfd) have been partly responsible, gas shale development undoubtedly has been the single most important factor.During the past 5 years, gas shale production grew to more than 8 bcfd from 2 bcfd (Fig. 1). For some time now, shale and other unconventional reservoirs have helped stabilize US gas production, offsetting long-term production declines from conventional sources....

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