Monday, June 18, 2012

Energy Cornucopia in Paradise

Apache Corp. has discovered a massive natural gas field in British Columbia -- perhaps the largest discovery of gas on the North American continent. This discovery is just one of many, helping to hold the North American price of natural gas down. The planned Kitmat LNG terminal on the British Columbia coast is meant to ship this abundance of gas to more profitable Asian markets.
One of three companies planning a $4.5-billion liquefied natural gas terminal at Kitimat on Thursday announced an "outstanding" new shale gas discovery in British Columbia's remote and largely unexplored Liard Basin. The find by Apache Corp. is estimated to contain enough gas in itself to justify doubling the size of the Kitimat terminal it's proposing with partners Encana Corp. and EOG Resources. The company is calling it the best and highest quality shale gas reservoir in North America, based on the volume of gas three test wells are producing. Apache, the second largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer by market value, said the tests suggest it has 48 trillion cubic feet of marketable gas within its Liard Basin properties. By way of comparison, all companies active in the Horn River Basin, one of three other major shale gas basins that are in B.C., have marketable gas of 78 trillion cubic feet, giving one company alone a natural gas find that is twothirds the size of the entire Horn Basin. One well alone produced 21 million cubic feet of gas a day over a 30-day period, the company said.

Brian Westenhaus has more information and analyses.

Brian Wang is also keeping his eye on this discovery

Natural gas prices are very low in North America, due to very efficient methods of gas production, and due to a relative abundance of newly accessible tight gas.

But as natural gas is increasingly used to substitute for crude oil in a wide range of applications -- from transportation fuels to polymers to chemicals to LNG and more -- the cost of gas will rise with growing demand.

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