"We’re setting ourselves up for a major fiasco ... It begins to look as if it’s going to end in tears in the United States ... If natural-gas prices were to follow the scenario that the EIA used in its 2014 annual report, the Texas team forecasts that production from the big four plays would peak in 2020, and decline from then on. By 2030, these plays would be producing only about half as much as in the EIA’s reference case. Even the agency’s most conservative scenarios seem to be higher than the Texas team’s forecasts ... Resolution matters because each play has sweet spots that yield a lot of gas, and large areas where wells are less productive. Companies try to target the sweet spots first, so wells drilled in the future may be less productive than current ones. The EIA’s model so far has assumed that future wells will be at least as productive as past wells in the same county ... EIA’s method amounts to “educated guesswork” ... Its 2014 budget totalled just $117 million, about the cost of drilling a dozen wells in the Haynesville shale ... There’s going to be a rude awakening for the United States ... For the moment, however, optimism about shale gas reigns — especially in the United States. And that is what worries some energy experts."