Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest shale gas play of them all?
Marcellus, you are the fairest of them all. That's the conclusion of Standard & Poor's Ratings Service. www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/articles/en/us/?articleType=HTML&assetID=1245342008525. The Marcellus shale gas is the lowest-cost to produce shale gas, generating 12% return on investment for dry gas and 30% for wet gas, assuming a gas price of $3.50. Of course, returns have been lower in the last 12 months but were considerably higher before then when prices were consistently above $4 for a thousand cubic feet.
Of those rates of return, Standard & Poor's writes: "These rates of return are significantly higher than for the other key gas shale plays, including the Haynesville, Fayetteville, Barnett, Woodford, and Eagle Ford gas, due to the lower finding, development and production costs associated with the Marcellus."
The Marcellus and Pennsylvania have a major competitive advantage compared to other shale plays. That pretty well says it all.