Natural Gas Resource

A new study of the nation’s natural gas supply is lifting the amount of known resources to a record high. That’s thanks largely to a reassessment of shale-gas plays along the Gulf Coast. Andrew Schneider has this story.

Texas Barnett Shale natural gas drilling rigIn its biennial report, the Potential Gas Committee is estimating U.S. natural gas resources at 1898 trillion cubic feet. That marks the highest assessment in the committee’s 46-year history.

John Curtis is director of the Potential Gas Agency at the Colorado School of Mines.

“The Potential Gas Committee’s evaluation of the Gulf Coast was particularly centered on the Haynesville and the Haynesville/Bossier formations, along with the Eagle Ford group. And what we saw was in that increase, the total for the entire Gulf Coast — just potential shale gas – last year was 137 trillion cubic feet, and this year, we have assessed it as just a little bit more than 200 trillion cubic feet.”

Curtis says that extracting gas from these shales generally requires the use of hydraulic fracturing. He says that any limits on hydraulic fracturing would require a reassessment of the volume of recoverable gas.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...