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.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.
Economist Loren Scott says Louisiana is in the midst of an industrial boom unlike any other in its history, with more than $100 billion in industrial projects either under construction or in the engineering and design phase.
The Louisiana Treasury holds $18 million in Israel Bonds — bonds that earn 2.868 percent when the three-year U.S. Treasury is yielding 1.08 percent.
ABiz celebrates another class of Acadiana's most influential female trailblazers, the Lourdes Foundation honors a local philanthropist and MedExpress in Opelousas celebrates its 22nd year as the “little ambulance service that could.”
Is Louisiana’s O&G industry ready to head south of the border?
Downtown’s newest live-work space for creatives doubles as a gallery for other upcoming artists to show their work.
A maritime case originating in Lafayette federal court could become a game changer for the oil and gas industry.
Here’s what’s at stake in the November Senate race — regardless of whether Republicans gain control of the upper chamber.
From the publisher’s in-box: ABiz reaches out to Lake Charles, time to “Come Home, Louisiana,” and now accepting nominations for Entrepreneur of the Year.
In late September Cleco and UL Lafayette showed off the Cleco Alternative Energy Center, where researchers explore ways to generate power by using renewable resources.
The most recent promotions, hirings and announcements from Acadiana's biz community.
While Amendments 1 and 2 will shield some health care providers from the budgetary whims of Gov. Jindal, they could make higher ed even more vulnerable to cuts.
Age 60 looks good on the country’s second-largest oil and gas show.
Local pieces and logo-emblazoned corporate gifts
Let’s show how much we care what it looks like.
The Memphis based investment firm Wunderlich recently arrived in Louisiana with the opening of a wealth management branch in Lafayette.
Broussard will soon be the site of a new Courtesy Automotive dealership.
Event addresses the industry’s growing need for qualified employees by providing an industry specific networking event.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office announced Thursday that AT&T Mobility has agreed to a $105 million settlement with Louisiana and the other 49 states over allegations that the company added third-party charges to AT&T customers’ bills without their consent or knowledge.
Investors aren’t enthusiastic about parent company Gannett’s spinoff plan, and that’s bad news for employees.
Lafayette Consolidated Government was the victor at the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal in a suit brought against it by a billboard company that argued new(ish) zoning regulations prevented it from making good on a contract.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims increased to 2,081 from the previous week's total of 1,887. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,456.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
The U.S. Attorney in New Orleans says a Slidell man has pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with a claim he filed related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill.
Lawmakers and business leaders are pressing Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to pledge the financing needed to keep open a 25-year-old program that helps small businesses apply for government contracts.