"I have continued to inspect decline curves for wells in the Eagle Ford shale. After viewing records for over 70 wells with between nine and eighteen months of production data, the declines continue to be precipitous. A one year decline rate of 80% or more was more the norm than the exception for the data I inspected. In other words a well making 800 BOE [barrels of oil equivalent] on day one, more likely than not was generating well under 200 BOE twelve months later. So I wondered whether there was any recent literature to corroborate my own empirical evidence. Gary Swindell a Dallas, Texas petroleum engineer did an Eagle Ford shale study analyzing 1,041 wells in ten Eagle Ford shale counties with current drilling activity. Similar to my own findings he found decline rates on average were 76% ... The IP represents the initial production of those first few test days when the well produces at its highest outputs ... The most stunning and damning discovery by far was that of the 1,041 wells, the average EUR [Estimated Ultimate Recovery] was only 206,779 BOE per well. Not surprisingly most public companies tend to report or advertise only their IP on a well which is all the SEC and the Texas Railroad Commission requires. They may throw investors a bone and report the first 30 days average production. Many public exploration firms active in the Eagle Ford such as Marathon may publicize EUR’s as high as 340,000 to 500,000 BOE. To my knowledge, no public companies are reporting such rapid well decline rates as are shown in both my limited study and the Swindell report ... Rapidly declining pressure is indicative of a shorter well life and is a predictive measure of well decline rates. Therefore if there really are significantly lower EUR’s than the world has come to take for granted, then the whole shale oil and gas economics must be revisited ... Anyway, the typical 8,000 to 12,000 feet below surface well, be it in the South Texas Eagle Ford or the East Texas/North Louisiana Haynesville play costs plus or minus $10 million ... At $5.00 Mcf gas you break about even and at $6.00 gas the compounded return is under 5%. Don’t forget it takes ten years or more to get most of your money back."
Ein Artikel von Richard Finger über steile Förderabfallraten und steigende Gaspreise in den USA aufgrund unökonomischer Shalegas-Plays und begrenzten Speicherkapazitäten bei erhöhter, winterlicher Nachfrage. Erschienen auf Forbes (25. Oktober 2012).