Friday, October 26, 2012

What's Going on with the Utica Shale?

The Utica Shale has been touted as the Next Big Thing in oil and gas, drawing comparisons to the Eagle Ford Shale with the potential to generate dry gas, liquids and oil.  Apparently there are major doubts about the viability of the play, at least on the oil side.

Data is sketchy, as the oil and gas industry has defeated attempts to allow the state to publish production data more than once a year - in case you were worried that the industry was spending all of its lobbying and advertising budgets in Washington - but analysts have become skeptical that the play may offer more than gas on a commercial basis.  Not that I have anything against gas, but I suspect there is little appetite from producers to go through the lease-and-drill routine if oil is not the target.

Annual data will not be released until next spring, so analysts will have to depend on other publicly available clues, leaks and assumptions until then.

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