NEB notes shift to tight gas production in western Canada

Canada’s National Energy Board says a decade-long shift away from conventional natural gas resources toward tight gas production has been led by large midsized producers.

That group of producers accounted for 44% of tight gas production in 2014, up from 22% in 2006. Tight gas production from major producers also accounted for 44% in 2014, down from 64% in 2006. The numbers are based on operated-production vs. net production.

Tight gas production’s share of western Canadian gas production increased to 42% in 2014 from 27% in 2006 (OGJ Online, June 10, 2015).

NEB classified major producers as companies producing more than 500 MMcfd of gas and large midsized producers as companies producing at least 100 MMcfd of gas.

Several majors in recent years have focused on projects outside Canada or sold their Canadian gas assets.

NEB said tight gas drilling is very capital intensive, requiring large amounts of land and drilling capacity and that marginal and small producers generally have insufficient drilling prospects to attract the investment capital needed for tight gas operations.

Junior and midsized producers have been able to maintain relatively stable shares of tight gas production at 4% and 7%, respectively, NEB said.

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