The current boom in drilling for ‘unconventional’ gas has helped raise US production to levels not seen since the early 1970′s. This has been an incredible boon to consumers and has kept spot prices contained below $5 per million BTU for the past year, recently dropping below $3/mmbtu. Unfortunately, this price is below the cost of production for many of these new wells. When the flood of investment currently pouring into natural gas drilling operations dries up, the inevitable bust will be as scary as the boom was exciting.
A well written and realistic overview of the situation appeared in a Dec. 6, 2011 article in Rigzone: Musings: Imagining The Future for The Natural Gas Industry. In this article, author G. Allen Brooks focuses on the damaging impact low natural gas prices have on the industry. The following excerpt captures the main message of the article: