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Earlier this year, I wrote in this column that many Barnett Shale wells would be uneconomic (World Oil, April 2007). That conclusion was based on a high-level statistical evaluation of average annual decline rates for a relatively small number of horizontal wells, and a larger number of vertical wells. My colleague Clint Carson and I have since done individual decline curve analyses for nearly 2,000 horizontal wells. Our findings are more optimistic than the earlier assessment but still suggest that many wells in the trend will be marginally commercial at current natural gas prices. A total of 1,966 horizontally drilled producing wells from the Barnett Shale were evaluated to determine commercial gas reserves using standard decline methods. Based on this analysis, approximately 28% of Barnett Shale wells should realize revenues that meet or exceed drilling, completion and operating costs in the most likely case...

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