Evolving Light Liquids Markets: The Impact of Shale and Tight Sands Productivity on U.S. Midstream and Downstream Segments and Beyond (inquire for more information)
The development of shale and tight sands reserves throughout North America is altering decades-old established supply patterns for light crude, condensates and NGLs. Midstream development has exploded with new pipeline, processing, rail and terminal/storage projects announced weekly. Downstream projects are also being developed at a rapid pace with the geographic extent of the supply bubble expanding beyond domestic borders.
Comparative development economics suggest that future expansion will be weighted towards liquid-rich plays (i.e., Bakken & Eagle Ford), followed by NGL-rich plays (i.e., Marcellus & Granite Wash), and finally the gas-rich plays (i.e., Fayetteville & Haynesville). However, each play is unique and discontinuous. Interpretation of reservoir characteristics, quality, and productivity is an evolving art that provides the key to understanding true potential, especially with respect to the potential for light liquids production.
Once de-risked, monetization of reserves is leveraged by infrastructure and accessible market demand. The gap between full upstream development and reduced levels of infrastructure-limited development drives upstream market pressure and pricing risks. These market dislocations provide clear signals with respect to the economic opportunities for coordinated development across the entire value chain.
This study combines detailed analyses of the characteristics of shale and tight sands reservoirs with the deep knowledge and understanding of existing and planned midstream and downstream infrastructure to evaluate the future impacts of light liquid supplies on markets in the U.S. and beyond. We examine supply side competition along the value chain from the wellhead to finished products including light oil, condensate, and NGL segments in the context of domestic demand as well as disposition to accessible export markets.
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