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North America steps on the gas with new investment

The four largest shale gas plays in the US will account for more than 10% of all North American upstream spending in 2013, according to UK consultants Wood Mackenzie

The Marcellus, Haynesville, Fayetteville and Barnett shales will see $14.5 billion of new investment out of a projected capital spend of $150bn, Houston-based research analyst Matt Woodson said. By comparison, tight-oil plays, such as the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian, will account for more than 40% of planned investment, or $60bn. Fuelled by unconventional drilling, North American spending rose 27% in 2010, 31% in 2011 and just 4% in 2012, according to Barclays Capital, as gas prices plunged to decade lows of $2.80 per million British thermal units (Btu). But after two years of flat growth, momentum is turning back to gas. Wood Mackenzie's Woodson sees the combination of higher Henry Hub

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