Marcellus/Utica Natural Gas Resource Has Nearly Doubled Since 2012

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

USGS Estimates 214 trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in Appalachian Basin Formations

Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2019

The Marcellus Shale and Point Pleasant-Utica Shale formations of the Appalachian Basin contain an estimated mean of 214 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources of natural gas, according to new USGS assessments.

“Watching our estimates for the Marcellus rise from 2 trillion to 84 trillion to 97 trillion in under 20 years demonstrates the effects American ingenuity and new technology can have,” said USGS Director Jim Reilly. “Knowing where these resources are located and how much exists is crucial to ensuring our nation’s energy independence.”

USGS

Figure 1. Definition of stupid: Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York State. USGS

“Watching our estimates for the Marcellus rise from 2 trillion to 84 trillion to 97 trillion in under 20 years demonstrates the effects American ingenuity and new technology can have.”

USGS Director Jim Reilly

I had the good fortune of working with Jim Reilly at Enserch Exploration back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s… Before he became a NASA astronaut and then Director of the USGS.

“Shale” comprises more than 60% of current U.S. proved natural gas reserves… The Marcellus/Utica comprise about 50% of “shale” proved reserves… And the undiscovered technically recoverable resource potential of the Marcellus/Utica is now larger than the proved reserves and nearly as large (70%) as the current proved reserves of all “shale” plays….

Figure 2. “The effects American ingenuity and new technology can have.”

Natural gas is the exact opposite of climate change: Always better than previously thought!

Oct 6, 2019
U.S. Natural Gas Reserves Continue To Soar

Jude Clemente Contributor
Energy
I cover oil, gas, power, LNG markets, linking to human development.

* In other words, we have even more natural gas than advertised

* An echo chamber of false pessimistic predictions of future oil and gas production has entangled so many for so long

Watching our estimates for the Marcellus rise from 2 trillion, to 84 trillion, to 97 trillion in under 20 years demonstrates the effects American ingenuity and new technology can have,” USGS director Jim Reilly, October 3, 2019

Ever since the U.S. shale revolution took flight in 2008, it’s been a consistent theme: not just rising natural gas production but also rising proven natural gas reserves. In fact, over the past decade, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that our proven gas reserves have ballooned nearly 85% to almost 450 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). It’s all turned the previous pre-shale notion that reserves were dwindling and production was in permanent decline on its head.

Not even the industry itself ever envisioned how fast our natural gas business would be transformed, thanks to shale. ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond infamously stated in 2005: “Gas production has peaked in North America.” Not quite good sir: led by shale, North American output is up 50% since then to past 105 Bcf/d, or some 30% of the global total.

What’s even more amazing is that this boom in gas production and reserves has happened under a low-price environment, which typically work to hamper both. In other words, we have even more natural gas than advertised.

Indeed, don’t forget that reserves are just subsets of the massive gas resource that we have.

[…]

Forbes

That’s right Jude… Proved “reserves are just subsets of the massive gas resource that we have.” Proved reserves aren’t even the most likely future production estimate. Proved reserves are the >90% probability estimate.

Figure 3. Reserves vs resources. 1P = Proved (>90%), 2P = Proved + Probable (>50%), 3P = Proved + Probable + Possible (>10%). Click to enlarge.

In the US. “proved reserves” are the 1P number. This is the minimum volume of oil and/or gas expected to be produced from a reservoir (>90% probability). Proved reserves go up all of the time without additional drilling because well performance converts 2P (50% probability) and some 3P (>10% probability) into 1P. Changing economic conditions can also move contingent resources into the 1P category.

As long as proved reserves and undiscovered resource potential remain steady or rise, each barrel of oil or thousand cubic feet of gas produced pushes Peak Oil/Gas farther off into the future.

This is where some ill-informed Peak Oiler babbles something about new discoveries being at a 70-yr low.

U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2017

Most reserve additions don’t come from new discoveries. They come from reservoir management and field development operations.

Figure 4. Breakdown of U.S. crude oil proved reserves changes since 1977 (EIA). Natural gas works the same way.
Figure 5. Extensions of existing fields accounted for 94% of the proved reserves added through drilling from 2006-2017. EIA.

“The future’s so bright, I gotta where shades”

This Natural Gas Supply Association graphic is from 2013. Cumulative production, proved resources (reserves) and technically recoverable resources have all grown since this was generated.

Figure 6. Understanding Natural Gas Resources Click to enlarge.

We can see that the rate of growth of proved natural gas reserves and technically recoverable resources are growing faster than we can burn or sell the stuff… But, there’s another category of resource that is even YUGER… Technically unrecoverable resources.

Potential Gas Committee estimates fall on the conservative side. The PGC is cautious in its appraisals. For example, even if natural gas is known to be present, if it is located too deep or in a quantity that does not justify the effort of extraction, the PGC does not count it. In fact, there is at least a 1,000-year supply of natural gas in the United States that is considered“unrecoverable”with current technology and economic constraints, such as gas locked deep under the ocean in frozen methane hydrates. It is possible that one day improvements in technology will enable the PGC to include some of those natural gas resources in its estimates.

NGSA

This is worth repeating:

In fact, there is at least a 1,000-year supply of natural gas in the United States that is considered“unrecoverable”with current technology and economic constraints, such as gas locked deep under the ocean in frozen methane hydrates.

Seafloor methane hydrates might actually already be technically recoverable resources… But, they are far from being economically recoverable.

Coupling the vastness of U.S. natural gas resources with the fact that it is also the fastest, most cost-effective path to lower carbon intensity energy production and…

CONTINUE READING –>

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