Wood Mackenzie upstream analyst Connie Lin reports that the Rockies could become a major U.S. shale-gas producer. It's a bit early to know how the seven studied plays will work out but that's the potential they may hold, Lin says.

Lin looked at the Gothic, Cody, Cane Creek, Baxter, Mancos, Lewis and Pierre shales, which are in six basins. Initial daily production rates have hit 12 million cubic feet in the Cane Creek play, she adds.

“While the Rockies region has successfully produced from unconventional resource types--such as tight gas, coalbed methane and shale oil--shale-gas plays have largely been untapped," she says. "Many of these plays are currently being tested for their commerciality. Some of the other plays have been commingled with other reservoirs and produced for many years.”

–Nissa Darbonne, Executive Editor, Oil and Gas Investor, A&D Watch, OilandGasInvestor.com; ndarbonne@hartenergy.com