"Tight oil and to some extent deepwater resources in the Gulf of Mexico continue to push overall US production higher, surpassing the previous record for US output (11.3 mb/d in 1970) and setting a new high-water mark of 12.5 mb/d in the latter part of this decade. After a plateau above 12 mb/d until the late 2020s, production starts to fall back, as tight oil and NGLs join conventional oil production on a downward trend. By 2040, US production is around the 2013 level, some 2.5 mb/d below its peak [...] In a similar way to tight oil, the future production of shale gas in the United States (or elsewhere for that matter) is driven by simple economics: the value of the recovered gas per well needs to exceed the cost of drilling and completing the well. As more production takes place, operators need to start drilling outside the "sweet spots", the zones yielding the best recovered gas volumes per well. As activity moves to zones of the shale formation giving less gas per well, the economics deteriorate (assuming no technology breakthroughs that cut costs or increase recovery per well), eventually reaching the point at which the commercial economics fail. This is what drives the peak and then the decline that we project for tight oil production in the United States. So will the same happen for shale gas? [...] It is only after the price becomes high enough for US shale gas to become uncompetitive, either in international markets against other sources of LNG or in the domestic market against other sources of gas, such as deepwater Gulf Coast, that production peaks and starts declining. In our projections, this peak just comes into view before 2040. Its exact timing will vary with different domestic and international gas prices and could easily be pushed beyond 2040. But this serves as a reminder that, unlike diamonds, shale gas is not forever."

Zum Executive Summary vom World Energy Outlook 2014, erschienen bei der IEA (12. November 2014) »