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The Past and Future of Shale Resources: Impact of Low Oil Prices

Gurcan Gulen, Senor Energy Economist, Bureau of Economic Geology's Center for Energy Economics, The University of Texas at Austin

Over the last decade, oil and gas production from unconventional resources has increased significantly in the U.S. but with relatively small activity in the rest of the world. However, the understanding of shale gas resource potential and deliverability is still evolving.  In addition, there are many challenges to drilling new wells ranging from opposition of local communities to new regulations.  In the short to mid-term, the problem  is the low price of natural gas: the industry has been too successful in producing gas but unfortunately supplied too much too quickly.  As a result, many companies are suffering financially.  Switching to liquids-rich locations helped those companies who had access to such “wet” acreage; but, today, even the liquids might not be providing the desired uplift as the oil price collapsed.  The likelihood and magnitude of LNG exports from the US is quite uncertain. In this talk, Dr. Gülen will discuss unconventional resource development, especially in the US; and the impact of low oil prices.


Gürcan Gülen is Senior Energy Economist at Bureau of Economic Geology's Center for Energy Economics, The University of Texas at Austin.  He worked on oil, natural gas and electric power projects in North America, South Asia, West Africa, and the Caspian region among others, focusing on the economics, policy and regulation of resource development, and electricity market restructuring.  He has been working on unconventional natural gas and oil resource potential, gas use in the power sector, midstream and downstream developments, and CO2-EOR value chain.  Dr. Gülen published in peer reviewed and industry publications, and presents regularly to a wide range of audiences.  He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston College and a B.A. in Economics from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.