The Louisiana Oil & Gas Association’s Don Briggs takes on The New York Times: “The assertion that the Haynesville Shale has not lived up to its expectations is a bold and outlandish statement. ... the Haynesville Shale development has shielded our state from the economic recession,” Briggs says.
Read Briggs' full response to the national newspaper’s weekend story below.
In a recent New York Times article titled “Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush,” the publication asserts that shale gas developments across the nation are to be compared to an Enron-like Ponzi scheme. Among other claims, the story suggests that energy companies have overestimated shale gas reserve quantities and that the costs of drilling shale gas wells are uneconomical.
For starters, it is a simple fact that shale gas resources in the U.S. are real and abundant. Recent estimates show that the U.S. holds nearly 1,000 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas in its shale gas deposits. In fact, the federal government’s own Energy Information Agency attests to these reserve numbers and agrees that they will play a significant role in our nation’s energy portfolio. Currently, the U.S. produces nearly 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas each year. That is the most annual natural gas production in U.S. history.
It is also a fact that shale gas wells are becoming less profitable and taking longer periods of time to pay out due to sluggish natural gas prices. But, the declining price and economics are a result of substantial supply increases of natural gas that these shale developments have produced.
The New York Times reporter points to a decrease in production in the Barnett Shale region. However, production and rig activity reports do not seem to support this claim. Today, the Barnett Shale produces 5.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Two years ago, the Barnett was producing 5.3 billion cubic feet per day. With over half of the rigs that were in operation a year ago now gone, the statement that production is declining is simply not true.
The assertion that the Haynesville Shale has not lived up to its expectations is a bold and outlandish statement. Since its development began in 2008, the Haynesville Shale has resulted in the injection of over $22 billion into the local and state economy in Louisiana, just in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 alone. In fact, while other states have lost jobs and revenue, the Haynesville Shale development has shielded our state from the economic recession.
As has been the case since the first shale gas well was drilled, advancements in natural gas drilling technology will continue to drive down the costs associated with developing these reservoirs. Companies are finding new and innovative ways to positively impact their bottom line, while also drilling more safely and efficiently. Some of these measures include utilizing drilling rigs that run on natural gas and advancements in the hydraulic fracturing and drilling process.
The article also makes claim that the hydraulic fracturing process is a threat to the environment. Contrary to the reporter’s claims, hydraulic fracturing is essential to the development and production of shale gas resources. The process is well-regulated by the states and conducted safely, with a proven track record. The oil and natural gas produced thanks to this technology helps fuel our nation’s economy by providing jobs, and the energy needed to heat our homes, fill-up our cars, generate electricity and create the basic materials for such things as fertilizer and plastics of every variety.
Hydraulic fracturing is an environmentally responsible way to make the most of our American energy resources. Without it, wells that would have run dry years ago, or would never have been drilled at all, are made viable. Experts believe 60 to 80 percent of all wells drilled in the United States in the next ten years will require fracturing to remain profitable and operating.
It is fair to say that the New York Times missed the mark with this story. With a country as energy dependent as the United States, it is imperative that we are producing our own energy sources to ensure the continuation of our American way of life. Our abundant natural gas resources, produced in areas such as the Haynesville Shale, help us to do just that for generations to come.
Lafayette’s first-ever Whole Foods Market will open its doors in September.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
The parent of Investar Bank says its second-quarter earnings fell to $1.1 million or 26 cents a share from $1.7 million of 44 cents a share in the same period a year ago.
1,554 rigs were exploring for oil and 315 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,770 active rigs.
Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when people charge money to drive others in their personal vehicles.
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.
By launching a Super PAC to end all Super PACs, our Top 50 keynote speaker hopes to change the game in Washington.
Oil Center-based private facility extends its offerings with special events venue in failed women’s store.
One year later, is his expansion plan paying off?
Newspaper industry insiders question John Georges’ expansion plan.
How the U.S. has gotten itself into another fine mess
The Heymann Center was transformed into a culinary adventure in mid-June for the EatLafayette kick-off event, A Taste of Lafayette, and for the third consecutive year, a sellout crowd filled the Cajundome Convention Center June 19 to hear LEDA chief Gregg Gothreaux’s State of the Economy report.