Shale plays

US shale to keep on booming in 2014.


According to a number of analysts and organizations, 2014 will see continued growth in US shale plays, with investment to increase and to focus increasingly on the four biggest plays: the Permian, Eagle Ford, Bakken and Marcellus. "The focus will continue to be on the core resource plays," said Topeka Capital Markets analyst Gabriele Sorbara. Capital budget hikes will be "very robustónorth of 10%, with a lot of guys ramping up and adding rigs in the core plays. We'll see even more increased efficiencies, increasing the need for higher [capex], and there will be a lot of equity raises and debt offerings." According to Barclays Capital, US producers are expected to spend $156B in 2014, up from 2013's $144B by 8%. Additionally, according RBC Capital Markets, the US well count will continue to rise steadily, especially in the four big plays. The company expects the total number of horizontal wells in the US to reach 20,061 in 2014, from 18,580 in 2013. By 2015, the count should reach 21,551 wells. Of the total, the number of horizontal wells in the four big plays will rise from 10,793 in 2013 to 12,399 in 2014 and 13,553 in 2015. The proportion of total horizontal wells in the big plays will rise as well, from 58% in 2013 to 62% in 2014 and 63% in 2015. "We think the stage has already been set for a prolific period of activity in the US land basins," said Barclays. "We are becoming increasingly confident that activity levels will rise by double-digit percentages year-over-year in the US."

Source: Worldwide Refining Business Digest Weekly.e, January 6, 2013.

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