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USA: Apache Finds Huge Shale Gas Reserves in Liard Basin

Apache Corp. has found a huge amount (up to 48 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas in its Liard Basin properties in northeastern BC. All of the gas is targeted to ship to a proposed LNG plant which should be built at Kitimat, according to Refinery News.

As the company says, it is the best unconventional gas discovery in North America. They have rights to drill 430,000 acres within the region.

Because of the low gas price, it is expected that the drilling plans in the Liard region could be very slow.

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USA: EIA Expects Huge Rise in Natural Gas Production

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Monday that it expects domestic oil and natural gas production to increase substantially.

In its newest Annual Energy Outlook EIA said it expects U.S. crude oil production to reach 6.7 million barrels per day in 2020, the highest level since 1994.

Shale gas production is expected to be the driving force behind increased natural gas production, increasing from 5.0 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to 13.6 trillion cubic feet in 2035, accounting for nearly half of all domestic natural gas production.

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Brazil: OGX Encounters Huge Hydrocarbon Column in Santos Basin

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OGX, a largest privately owned oil & gas company in Brazil, today announced that it has identified the presence of hydrocarbons in the Albian and Aptian sections of well 1-OGX-63-SPS in the BM-S-57 block, in the shallow waters of the Santos Basin. OGX holds a 100% working interest in this block.

“This discovery is important for its huge hydrocarbon column and net pay identified in the Albian section, as well as by the quality of the Aptian reservoir and its behavior,” commented Paulo Mendonça, General Executive Officer and Exploration Officer of OGX.

A hydrocarbon column of approximately 1,000 meters was encountered in Albian reservoirs with about 110 meters of net pay. The drilling of the well, which is still in progress, already reached the Aptian section of the reservoir identifying hydrocarbons through a high gas presence that resulted in a kick, which is already controlled.

The OGX-63 well, known as Fortaleza, is still in progress and located in the BM-S-57 block and is situated approximately 102 kilometers off the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro at a water depth of approximately 155 meters. The Ocean Quest rig initiated drilling activities on October 08, 2011.

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UK: Cuadrilla Unveils Huge Shale Gas Find

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Cuadrilla Resources Ltd., a private-equity backed shale-gas explorer in the U.K., said drilling results indicated its license area in northwest England may hold 200 trillion cubic feet of the fuel.

We’ve got a very sizable resource in place,” Dennis Carlton, executive director of Cuadrilla Resources, said in a phone interview from Blackpool, England. “Without drilling individual units within the thick shale we don’t know what the recovery factor will be.”

Two exploration wells near the seaside resort of Blackpool found shale formations almost 10 times as thick as typical U.S. deposits, Carlton said. Hydraulic fracturing, a process that uses water, sand and chemicals to smash apart rocks and release trapped fuel, reversed declines in U.S. natural-gas output and made it the world’s largest producer.

As many as seven exploration wells may need to be drilled, fractured and tested before more information can be given about recoverable reserves, he said. Investors in Cuadrilla include Riverstone Holdings LLC, led by former BP Plc Chief Executive Officer John Browne, and AJ Lucas Group Ltd. (AJL)

In the Marcellus, if you have a 300- to 400-foot interval, that’s on the high side,” he said, referring to one of the largest U.S. shale-gas basins. “We’ve got 3,000 foot of shale.”

The U.K.’s largest shale resource found to date is equivalent to 5.6 trillion cubic meters, or about three times Norway’s existing, proved reserves. Norway is the second-largest gas exporter to Europe and the biggest foreign supplier to Britain.

Recover Fraction

Cuadrilla is likely to be able to recover only a fraction of the gas trapped in the rocks. The U.K.’s technically recoverable shale resources are 20 trillion cubic feet, the U.S. department of Energy said in an April report.

The company has 1,200 square kilometers (300,000 acres) under license in northwest England, covering 80 to 90 percent of the shale in the area, he said.

We’ve got the best of the best, at least in the Bowland basin,” he said.

North Sea gas production is declining and the U.K. is increasingly reliant on imports to meet Europe’s highest demand for natural gas.

Cuadrilla voluntarily halted fracking at its operations in June after “small tremors” were reported in the area, according to its website. The company will submit a report to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in October, Carlton said.

Carlton estimated a “mid-case” scenario of drilling 400 production wells from 40 well pads in the future. To date they have drilled two exploration wells and have historical data from three 10- to 15-year-old wells drilled by British Gas.

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