Rocky Mountain Region Key to US Gas Production

The US will reach its peak output for natural gas either later this year or in 2007, according to a specialist at IHS Energy in Arapahoe County, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

However, in a 2004 statement, an IHS Energy vice-president voiced a much different opinion: “North American production peaked in 2001, and the declining trend may well continue….” Why the contrasting predictions? The discovery of huge natural gas reserves in layers of shale, tight sands or coal beds in the Rocky Mountains, which contained one-third of the US gas wells completed in 2005. The IHS specialist expected this region could produce up to 28% of the nation’s supply.

Halliburton’s new fracing process has helped increase production by extracting gas out of the tight sands formation located around Garfield and Rio Blanco Counties. It is estimated that 25,000 natural gas wells could be drilled in Garfield County and 15,000 in Rio Blanco in the next ten to fifteen years.