Natural gas reserves revised in USGS report

The Marcellus Shale contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids, according to a new assessment by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).

These gas estimates are more than the last USGS assessment of the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin in 2002, which estimated a mean of about 2 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCF) and 0.01 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

The USGS said the increase in undiscovered, technically recoverable resource is due to new geologic information and engineering data, as technological developments in producing unconventional resources have been significant in the last decade. This Marcellus Shale estimate is of unconventional (or continuous-type) gas resources.

The USGS estimate is lower, however, than estimates published in July by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

That report from EIA estimated the resource at 410 trillion cubic feet. The USGS assessment is an estimate of continuous gas and natural gas liquid accumulations in the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin.

To read the U.S. Geological Survey’s assessment, click here.

To read EIA’s report, click here.

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