Debate rages over longevity of Arkansas gas wells

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - As leaseholders enjoy royalties and state and local and state governments rake in revenue from natural gas wells in the Fayetteville Shale, some are questioning how long those wells will continue to produce.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports hydraulic fracturing began opening up the shale play in Arkansas in 2005. In 2010, shale gas accounted for about 23 percent of the nation's gas supply. But Art Berman, a retired geologist in Houston, says the Fayetteville field "has already peaked" and production from it will decline.

Bill Powers of Chicago-based Powers Energy Investor expressed similar sentiments in a February report. But industry insiders disagree. Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., says such claims contradict the facts and the work of the world's most sophisticated reservoir engineers and geoscientists.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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