Friday, June 19, 2009

Abundant Natural Gas Resources Documented

In its biennial natural gas supply report, the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) announced, in a report promisingly titled, "Potential Gas Committee Announces Unprecedented Increase in Magnitude of U.S. Natural Gas Resource Base," that the United States possesses a total resource base of 1,836 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). Adding tot that number 238 Tcf of proved gas reserves (as reported by DOE and EIA), the report states that the U.S. has a total available future natural gas supply of 2,074 Tcf. This represents an increase of 542 Tcf, or 35.4%, over the previous evaluation in 2006. (New York Times article)

This is big because the PGC, which is headquartered at the Colorado School of Mines, is a relatively independent group and is viewed as an impartial arbiter of supply numbers. A report last August by Navigant Consulting was sponsored by natural gas industry groups, so it was not taken as gospel. Interestingly, the "industry" report suggested a gas resource base of 2,247 Tcf, not that far north of PGC's 2,074 Tcf.

At a time when Congress is debating our energy future and initiatives like the Pickens Plan are gaining footing, it is very important for the natural gas industry to demonstrate that the supply of natural gas is large and the continued development of new technology is enabling larger reserves to be delivered economically.

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