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35 years of US gas, not 100 [ClearOnMoney]
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35 years of US gas, not 100

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Commentary

35 years of US gas, not 100

24 Jan 2012 by Jim Fickett.

The latest estimates from the Energy Information Agency revise down US gas resources substantially.

The US Energy Information Administration puts out an Annual Energy Outlook. The latest one will be completed in April, but they published a preview yesterday.

They have revised down their estimate of natural gas in the Marcellus shale by two thirds, and their estimate of overall US gas resources (unproved, technically recoverable resources) by 42%.

In the AEO2012 Reference case, the estimated unproved technically recoverable resource (TRR) of shale gas for the United States is 482 trillion cubic feet, substantially below the estimate of 827 trillion cubic feet in AEO2011. The decline largely reflects a decrease in the estimate for the Marcellus shale, from 410 trillion cubic feet to 141 trillion cubic feet. Both EIA and USGS have recently made significant revisions to their TRR estimates for the Marcellus shale. Drilling in the Marcellus accelerated rapidly in 2010 and 2011, so that there is far more information available today than a year ago.

If we add their estimate of unproved resources (482 tcf) to BP's latest estimate of proved reserves (272 tcf), and divide by current demand (22 tcf; for the latter two numbers see US natural gas reserves), we get that the US might have (in round numbers) about 35 years worth of gas at current consumption rates.

Don't expect any reporters to notice, or to stop saying that the US has 100 years worth of gas.