Opinion: How US Fracking Could Be an Unlikely Beneficiary of a ‘Blue Wave’

Optimism for the dry gas sector is bubbling up like methane in a Pennsylvania spring.

John Dizard, Financial Times
Opinion: How US Fracking Could Be an Unlikely Beneficiary of a ‘Blue Wave’

The most likely effect of a “D” sweep of the presidency, the House and the Senate would be the prolonging of the rise of domestic U.S. natural gas prices. (Source: Hart Energy)

The Democratic party’s awkward attempts at a consensus fracking policy has become a standing joke. Owners of already-producing dry gas properties could be laughing the hardest.

The most likely effect of a “D” sweep of the presidency, the House and the Senate would be the prolonging of the rise of domestic U.S. natural gas prices. Since their low point this year in July, the November Henry Hub futures contract has moved from $2.15 to $2.78/MMBtu. Wall Street (meaning Houston and Denver) are raising estimates for next year, with Raymond James reaching for $4/MMBtu and Morgan Stanley $5/MMBtu.

The facts have not really changed. With the March price crash, U.S. oil producers, constrained by their bankers, reduced well drilling and completion. So gas production from oil and liquids wells plunged. Shale oil production typically drops 65% to 70% after the first year of a well’s life, and gas production by perhaps 60%.

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