Will we see a spike in tight gas drilling in the Rockies this year? A recent surge in permit activity in some of the key tight gas basins would suggest that scenario. According to analysis in the March issue of The Land Rig Newsletter, permits for the four major tight gas basins combined more than doubled from their levels in February, leaping to 230 from 98. An eye-popping jump of 245% was logged in Piceance Basin permitting activity in March, while permits in the DJ and Green River basins more than doubled in the same timeframe.
The tight gas surge would seem counterintuitive in light of recently slumping gas prices, considering that these areas remained moribund in comparison with the shale plays when gas prices collapsed last year. Could it be that the shale plays’ advances in drilling efficiencies and aggressive multi-frac strategies are migrating to the tight gas plays, bolstering IPs and making these plays more economic despite gas price slippage?