Tuesday, January 04, 2011

High-Btu natural gas production from rich-gas shale plays and associated gas from crude oil plays accelerates U.S. NGL production to unprecedented levels.

EVERGREEN, CO (January 4, 2011) – The U.S. natural gas liquids (NGL) market is undergoing a resurgence of productivity according to a new report by BENTEK Energy. According toThe Rich Get Richer:  Shale Gas and NGLs, natural gas plant output is increasing, downstream constraints are developing, infrastructure opportunities are emerging and the industry is rising to the occasion. New pipeline and fractionation capacity projects are underway. Gathering systems and natural gas processing plants are under construction in South Texas and the Rockies and Appalachia regions. Petrochemical companies are developing the capability to run higher volumes of ethane.

“We have titled this report ‘The Rich Get Richer’ because the players in liquids-rich shale gas and associated-gas regions are enjoying a disproportionate share of the gains from the NGL resurgence,” BENTEK Managing Director E. Russell (Rusty) Braziel said. “Other areas where gas production is dry, or where gas production volumes are declining, are not experiencing the same economic uplift.”

BENTEK researched the inlet volumes, average GPM (gallons per Mcf) for gas processed and NGL production for hundreds of natural gas plants in six producing regions. The report shows that for all natural gas processing facilities across Texas and Louisiana, only the Permian Basin is exhibiting increased inlet volume, GPM and NGL production. Although GPM and NGL production are up in the Anadarko, Barnett and Upper Gulf Coast regions, inlet volume is down. In South Texas, increasing Eagle Ford plant inlet volumes are being offset by declining volumes along the Gulf. South Texas NGL volumes are up slightly due to the higher GPM of gas processed.

“This is our first report using information from BENTEK’s NGL Databank™, a suite of products that provides operating statistics for individual U.S. natural gas plants,” Braziel noted. “By aggregating data for individual plants it is possible to accurately assess regional NGL production trends and infrastructure opportunities.”

The Rich Get Richer: Shale Gas and NGLs also reveals declining processing plant inlet volumes in Louisiana. In northern Louisiana, most of the prolific Haynesville play is dry and contributes little to plant inlet volumes or NGL production. In south Louisiana, processed volumes from offshore and onshore facilities continue to decline, partially offset by increasing GPM. South Louisiana volumes are expected to continue falling due to bureaucratic logjams at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE/formerly MMS). Permitting delays have effectively frozen both deep- and shallow-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for both crude oil and natural gas. Delays are expected to extend for months, and could stretch much longer.

For more information on The Rich Get Richer: Shale Gas and NGLs or NGL Databank™ visit or call BENTEK at 888-251-1264.

About BENTEK Energy
BENTEK Energy is the leading energy markets information company. Based in Evergreen, Colorado, BENTEK brings customers the analytical tools and competitive intelligence needed to make time-critical, bottom-line decisions in today's natural gas and power markets. Additional information about BENTEK Energy is available on the Web at