Blog Post

Setting the Agenda for Phase I Travel

May 12, 2014 | Daniel Raimi

During the initial phase of our research into shale public finance, the Energy Initiative sent Associate in Research Daniel Raimi to a number of key oil and gas production regions around the United States. Stories from his trips are published below in reverse chronological order.

How we chose where to visit

The project team examined county-level oil and gas production data from the years 2005 through 2012 from Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming. We identified which counties among all these states produced the most oil and/or gas measured by county-level production and county-level production per square mile of county area. We then narrowed the list to visit as many locations, with a diversity of situations, as was practical.

From September 2013 to February 2014, we visited nine distinct oil and gas plays. These plays produce a range of hydrocarbons, ranging from an oil-centered play — the Permian in Texas — to a “dry gas” play in Northeastern Pennsylvania to an oil and gas play in Texas’ Eagle Ford shale. By traveling to multiple states with varying fiscal approaches and examining different types of shale plays, we hope to better understand how varying state and local policies affect the public finance issues facing local governments. See the table and maps below for a better picture of where the Energy Initiative traveled during Phase I of this project.

Shale Plays in the Lower 48 States
Where we traveled for the Shale Public Finance project. Circles and numbers on the map were added by the Duke University Energy Initiative to EIA’s original map, and correspond to play numbers in the legend.

This research was carried out at the Duke University Energy Initiative with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.