Natural gas looks for surge in retail auto sales

Post-Crisis Trading

Citing the lack of CNG gas stations, Akerson said the volumes for the bi-fuel Impala will initially be small with most sales to commercial and government fleets. He said selling 750 to 1,000 of the cars in the first model year would be "a home run."

He also repeated his call for the Obama administration and Congress to create a consumer-driven national energy policy. In March, he said President Barack Obama should appoint a commission to develop a 30-year U.S. energy policy framework that includes energy producers, labor groups and energy consumers such as GM. In March, Akerson also said that natural gas as a motor fuel represents a "huge and largely untapped opportunity for commercial fleets and long-haul truckers."

Agreed!!! And it is going to happen! Low prices cure low — prices let the new bull market begin!

Shale gas and oil continues to blow away the peak oil freaks as well as the skeptics!  John Kemp at Reuters North Dakota's rapidly rising oil output continues to defy the skeptics, who have predicted that production would stop growing as declining output from existing wells offsets extra production from new drilling. He says that oil production soared to 911,000 barrels per day in August, up more than 200,000 bpd compared with the same month last year, the state's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) said this week. Production is on course to hit 1 million bpd by the end of the year or early 2014, according to the DMR.

By the end of August, 9,452 wells were in production. But another 450 had been drilled and were waiting fracturing and completion. Completions are running at about 1.5 times the threshold needed to maintain production, the DMR wrote in its monthly statement, which implies output will continue rising in the next few months as crews work through the backlog. Shale skeptics have been confidently predicting since at least 2010, when output was below 300,000 bpd, that production would peak.

Only the DMR has struck a defiant and lonely optimistic note. In 2012 DMR projected output would plateau somewhere between 700,000 and 1.2 million bpd between 2015 and 2025, based on a total of up to 40,000 wells in the thermally mature part of the shale play. Many out-of-state analysts, including leading energy consultancies, criticized those projections as overly positive. Now they appear conservative. So why did the skeptics get it so wrong?

OUTRUNNING THE RED QUEEN

Skeptics based their argument on the unusually rapid output decline from wells bored into shale formations compared with more conventional oil fields. More and more holes would have to be drilled just to offset dwindling production from the existing stock of wells. More wells would require more drilling rigs and fracturing crews, which could not be increased indefinitely. Eventually, production would reach an equilibrium based on some maximum feasible number of drilling rigs and crews. "Yearly output must inevitably decline because the maintenance of a given output each year necessitates the drilling of an increasing number of wells," U.S. government geologist Carl Beal wrote in 1919, during an earlier panic about peaking domestic oil production.

More recently, The Oil Drum blog likened shale production to the Red Queen's Race in Lewis Carroll's book "Through the Looking-Glass". "Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place," the Red Queen told Alice. "If you want to get somewhere else, you must run twice as fast."

Shale skeptics pointed to the tremendous variability in output from wells drilled into the most productive core areas of the Bakken compared with the less-prodigious outlying areas. The core would be fully exploited quite quickly, they suggested, leaving only the less productive periphery, necessitating drilling even more wells with lower output.

About the Author
Phil Flynn

Senior energy analyst at The PRICE Futures Group and a Fox Business Network contributor. He is one of the world's leading market analysts, providing individual investors, professional traders, and institutions with up-to-the-minute investment and risk management insight into global petroleum, gasoline, and energy markets. His precise and timely forecasts have come to be in great demand by industry and media worldwide and his impressive career goes back almost three decades, gaining attention with his market calls and energetic personality as writer of The Energy Report. You can contact Phil by phone at (888) 264-5665 or by email at pflynn@pricegroup.com. Learn even more on our website at www.pricegroup.com.

 

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