Thursday, July 31, 2008

US Natural Gas Reserves Doubled! in New Study

It seems that the US EIA and other official estimators of US natural gas reserves have badly underestimated the total US capacity. If a new study by the American Clean Skies Foundation is accurate, the US has enough natural gas reserves to last 100 years!
Aubrey K. McClendon, chairman of ACSF and chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation. "New technologies have allowed the rapid emergence of gas shales as a major energy source, representing a truly transformative event for U.S. energy supplies. American producers can clearly supply enough natural gas to meet today's uses and become an economical source of transportation fuel in the form of CNG or greater supplies of electricity for plug-in hybrids for generations to come."

"The assessments and estimates on natural gas supply are very impressive and have, frankly, caught industry forecasters off guard," shared Rick Smead, one of the study's co-authors and overall project manager for NCI. The study found that while all three unconventional gas sources have increased production over the past decade, natural gas production from shale formations is growing exponentially, increasing from 0.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf)/year of production in 1998 to 1.05 Tcf/year in 2007, a 203 percent increase. "The extent of this ramp-up has not been fully captured by many reserve estimators," said Smead, "probably because their emergence has been too rapid for existing models to capture accurately."

There are approximately 22 shale basins located onshore in more than 20 states in the U.S. including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan.

..."Recent technological innovation has transformed the natural gas exploration and production industry, particularly as it pertains to shale," said Dr. Kenneth B. Medlock III, a Fellow in Energy Studies at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and a professor of economics at Rice University, also a co-author of the NCI report. "The findings in this study indicate significant potential for expanded use of domestically produced natural gas for many purposes, including power generation and even transportation fuel for many years to come." _NextEnergyNews
Newer technologies for converting difficult-to-access coal beds into natural gas fields, and advanced conversion methods for coal-to-gas (CTG) will also expand natural gas supplies far beyond conventional estimates.

To top it off, the up and coming field of biomass renewable natural gas will knock the block off "peak gasers" for the foreseeable future, once production is scaled up.

It may be more fun for the jokers at the oil drum site and the other peak oil sites, to dwell on doom and gloom. If that is what gets them to the promised land, then all power to them. But as for me and most intelligent, energetic, and productive-minded folks I know, it's better to solve problems instead of whining about them.

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