Production milestone for Barnett Shale

Total natural gas production in North Texas' Barnett Shale has passed a milestone level of 8 trillion cubic feet. And the area continued to produce more than 5 billion cubic feet per day in the first eight months of this year, despite a steep decline in drilling since gas prices crashed in the latter half of 2008, the Powell Barnett Shale Newsletter reported Monday.

The authoritative newsletter noted that with gas prices remaining weak, drilling has made a dramatic shift to the "wetter" part of the play, where Barnett wells not only produce dry gas, but also higher-priced liquids, including oil, condensate and natural gas liquids such as butane and propane. The Barnett Shale lies under more than 20 North Texas counties

Gene Powell, an oil industry veteran and the newsletter's publisher, told the Star-Telegram on Monday that he stands by his forecast, first made in 2004, that the Barnett will produce 94 trillion cubic feet of gas over 80 to 100 years, a volume roughly quadruple current annual U.S. gas production.

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