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Trophy Hunting vs. Manufacturing Energy: The Price-Responsiveness of Shale Gas

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  • Richard G. Newell
  • Brian C. Prest
  • Ashley Vissing

Abstract

We analyze the relative price elasticity of unconventional versus conventional natural gas extraction. We separately analyze three key stages of gas production: drilling wells, completing wells, and producing natural gas from the completed wells. We find that the important margin is drilling investment, and neither production from existing wells nor completion times respond strongly to prices. We estimate a long-run drilling elasticity of 0.7 for both conventional and unconventional sources. Nonetheless, because unconventional wells produce on average 2.7 times more gas per well than conventional ones, the long-run price responsiveness of supply is almost 3 times larger for unconventional compared to conventional gas.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard G. Newell & Brian C. Prest & Ashley Vissing, 2016. "Trophy Hunting vs. Manufacturing Energy: The Price-Responsiveness of Shale Gas," NBER Working Papers 22532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22532
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    Cited by:

    1. Hilary S. Boudet & Chad M. Zanocco & Peter D. Howe & Christopher E. Clarke, 2018. "The Effect of Geographic Proximity to Unconventional Oil and Gas Development on Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 38(9), pages 1871-1890, September.
    2. Julien Xavier Daubanes & Fanny Henriet & Katheline Schubert, 2021. "Unilateral CO2 Reduction Policy with More Than One Carbon Energy Source," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 543-575.
    3. Simona Delle Chiaie & Laurent Ferrara & Domenico Giannone, 2022. "Common factors of commodity prices," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 37(3), pages 461-476, April.
    4. Lutz Kilian & Xiaoqing Zhou, 2018. "Structural Interpretation of Vector Autoregressions with Incomplete Identification: Revisiting the Role of Oil Supply and Demand Shocks: Comment," CESifo Working Paper Series 7166, CESifo.
    5. Kilian, Lutz & Zhou, Xiaoqing, 2018. "Modeling fluctuations in the global demand for commodities," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 54-78.
    6. Evan M. Herrnstadt & Ryan Kellogg & Eric Lewis, 2020. "The Economics of Time-Limited Development Options: The Case of Oil and Gas Leases," NBER Working Papers 27165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. James Feyrer & Erin T. Mansur & Bruce Sacerdote, 2017. "Geographic Dispersion of Economic Shocks: Evidence from the Fracking Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1313-1334, April.
    8. T. Robert Fetter & Andrew L. Steck & Christopher Timmins & Douglas Wrenn, 2018. "Learning by Viewing? Social Learning, Regulatory Disclosure, and Firm Productivity in Shale Gas," NBER Working Papers 25401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lade, Gabriel E. & Rudik, Ivan, 2020. "Costs of inefficient regulation: Evidence from the Bakken," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    10. Richard G. Newell and Brian C. Prest, 2019. "The Unconventional Oil Supply Boom: Aggregate Price Response from Microdata," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    11. Gideon Bornstein & Per Krusell & Sergio Rebelo, 2017. "A World Equilibrium Model of the Oil Market," NBER Working Papers 23423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Smith, James L. & Lee, Thomas K., 2017. "The price elasticity of U.S. shale oil reserves," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 121-135.
    13. Kilian, Lutz & Zhou, Xiaoqing, 2018. "Structural Interpretation of Vector Autoregressions with Incomplete Information: Revisiting the Role of Oil Supply and Demand Shocks: Comment," CEPR Discussion Papers 13068, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Bornstein, Gideon & Krusell, Per & Rebelo, S�rgio, 2017. "Lags, Costs and Shocks: An Equilibrium Model of the Oil Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 12047, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

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