Appalachian natural gas industry sees optimism for 2022

At a major shale conference this week in Pittsburgh, the Appalachian natural gas industry worked to make sense of what has been an unexpected 2021 and mostly expected a positive year ahead, with some caveats.

There's no doubt that 2020 knocked oil and gas producers for a loop, with well activity declining and production cuts. But prices rose far beyond expectations from about $3 per million British thermal units earlier in the year to $6 per MMBtu in October and about $4 now, still well above what had been forecast this time last year. Much of Hart Energy's DUG East Conference, the first time it was held since December 2019 in a very different shale landscape, discussed not only what was happening in the Appalachian gas industry but also how it could position itself amid challenges from the market, competition with renewables and the challenges from more government regulation and attention on emissions.