How are the surging natural gas prices affecting drilling this year, and what about going into 2022?  Are the gas companies taking advantage of these higher prices?  What`s next?

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I hope you are correct! I am concerned about a heavy winter and blackouts. 

Well Deb,  Maybe you had better learn how to make Tallow candles for the possibility of blackouts.   And get yourself a crosscut saw and a wood fueled stove.  At 80 plus years old, I am not so young but what I vividly recall the house that I now live in being heated by firewood. And for light,  my great Uncle Charlie lighted the oil lamps.  Electricity had just come up our road and simple wiring being installed for lights. Cooking was done on a large Majestic cookstove. Water was heated on that stove.  Folks had to rely upon themselves entirely for survival not so many years ago.      Granddad Ladd

I may be a little younger than you, Granddad Ladd! But I spent my "formative" years cutting wood and starting fires to help out at home. I'm also very familiar with candles, though I prefer beeswax! I even had neighbors who used an outhouse into their 80s. And when we went "camping" it was often where we hauled water from a creek, or pumped it, to wash the dishes and ourselves. Pretty sure I can manage, and I'm just short of 60. 

"A little younger then I am?"  Lets change that to almost 30 years younger then that Deb. Try 87 years.       Its nice to know there are a few folks like you Deb that do not get bent out of shape when something goes awry.  My last royalty check was 75% larger then the previous months check Deb. So maybe you will be a little less worried.   Anyway Deb,  have a good day!   Granddad Ladd

Glad for your increase! When you worry about the future with all these seemingly helpless people...just remember there's a lot of us just quietly doing what's right! Of all generations. My dad is your age, and still doing. My daughter is a veterinarian, but also gardens, cans, sews, and even tats! My nephew is teaching his children to homestead, raise their own meat and process it, so that's 4 generations from 87 years old to 2!! Take heart and enjoy the fall!

It does my old heart good to read about your nephew and his kids, Deb. Once they learn that can supply their own needs and utilize what ever is available to them. They will do just fine and have fun doing it, plus having the satisfaction of knowing they have skills and talents far beyond what is possible!      Granddad Ladd

You have a very uplifting impression Kyle.  Sounds like you are speculating a new surge of activity.  What are the factors you see that can make this happen?  Increasing NG prices, declining wells, LNG demand, etc.

Supply is not increasing much right now, and companies are holding down the capital expenditures for the moment.  The capital expenditure issue is a result of banks not loaning the companies money, and shareholders demanding greater financial responsibility from the companies.  However, when prices go up like they are it's literally impossible to not drill.  If you don't, someone else will come along and start drilling.  Demand is increasing constantly, this latest round of COVID hasn't slowed anything down much at all, and we have lower than average gas in storage.  If we have even an average winter we will end the year with low storage levels and high gas prices.  Companies will drill more and produce more.  They'll almost be forced to do so.  My only hope is that banks don't open the spigots all the way up.  I don't want to see a ton of new money flow into the industry because we'll go from boom to bust before the end of next year.  The boom/bust cycle is bad for everybody.

Thanks for your insights Kyle.  What gas companies do you see poised for this new surge in 2022?  Which state do you see as being better prepared., WVA, PA or Ohio, to see a surge in drilling & new gas supply?

I think most of them, if not all of them, will be increasing production.  It will be interesting to see what the next quarterly reports say, and the end of year reports.  As we get closer to the end of the year we'll also see analysts putting out their guesses, and while none of them are ever right, together they can give us a pretty good idea of where things will go.

I'm not sure which states are better prepared for a surge in production.  From what I've read recently it seems like there's not a lot of room in our existing pipelines to produce a whole lot more from the Marcellus/Utica area.  But we'll see what happens next year.

What is a reasonable expectation for a high mark for NG prices?  How long might the higher prices last?  Did these higher prices catch the gas companies unprepared for a quicker response?  

I honestly would not have guessed they would ever hit $5/MMBtu, but they did.  I'm not sure what the upper limit to natural gas prices is right now. We pushed through $6 a day or two ago, but fell back down into the $5 range.  I'm not sure anybody really knows where they'll go at the moment.


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