North American Production Continues to Accelerate

ICF International (Fairfax, Va.), in its first-quarter “2014 Detailed Production Report,” notes that production in liquids-rich natural gas plays is expected to continue to grow, and will likely double by 2035. ICF adds that liquids-rich plays have fared much better than dry-gas plays in the relatively low-gas-price environment that has persisted throughout much of 2013. Consequently, U.S. NGL production has increased by more than 600,000 bbld over the past five years.

The consultancy forecasts that, in the short run, reduced gas-directed drilling will continue to slow production growth for dry-gas plays such as the Haynesville Shale, the Greater Green River Basin, the Barnett Shale, and the Fayetteville Shale. However, these plays are expected to rebound as market growth hardens gas prices.

In addition, in today’s relatively high-oil-price environment, output from unconventional oil plays such as the Bakken, the Cline, the Niobrara, and the Eagle Ford are likely to continue to grow. And while high oil prices could promote growth of bitumen production in Western Canada’s oil sands, continued delays in construction of new crude-transport capacity presents risks.

ICF’s first-quarter “2014 Detailed Production Report” presents annual production projections for more than 50 basins throughout the U.S. and Canada, and includes total production for both nations. The report’s production projections are linked to ICF’s “Natural Gas-Strategic Outlook,” which provides additional insight into the future of the North American natural gas market.