The United States Geological Survey and the Energy Information Administration have published significantly different estimates of the amount of natural gas contained in the Marcellus Shale. An article in NorthcentralPA.com reports that the estimate metrics are very different.
The United States Geological Survey estimates that there are about 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Estimates from the Department of Energy put the amount of gas at 410 trillion cubic feet.
Major capital investments in the North American gas shales sector could accelerate rates of drilling and production to cause downward pressure on prices. An article on the Reuters.com website explores gas shale investments and their potential impact upon prices.
Rejecting calls for a moratorium and supporting energy independence, lawmakers in the UK will allow the development of shale gas deposits. The British Geological Survey estimates that the resource could be as much as 150 billion cubic meters of gas on-shore with a much larger resource offshore. More at FuelFix.com.
In the past three years oil and natural gas production from the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana has increased dramatically causing the United States Geological Survey to launch an update of its last assessment that was completed just three years ago. More at UPI.com.
In an article on the FuelFix website, David Porter, Texas Railroad Commissioner (the Railroad Commission regulates natural gas drilling for the State of Texas), says that the Eagle Ford Shale has the potential to be the greatest economic driver in the history of South Texas.
An oversupply of natural gas in the United States and the movement of natural gas drillers to more lucrative oil targets is expected to cause a drop in the amount of natural gas produced in Canada. More in the Calgary Herald.
A post on the Seeking Alpha blog details how successful Chesapeake Energy has been at rapidly leasing enormous acreages in all of the major natural gas shale plays in the United States. They author calls them a “land acquisition machine”.
Large amounts of methane and methane hydrate occur in marine sediments. These could be a fuel resource or a greenhouse gas awaiting release. A robotic submarine is now making the first direct measurements of these deposits. More at Nature.com.
Baker Hughes CEO Chad Deaton says that oil and gas shales are a small part of their current international business because of specialized equipment capacity but that sector is expected to grow significantly over time. More at Platts.com.
The United States has either a short-term glut or a long-term supply of shale gas. An article on Platts.com explores the idea of exporting shale gas from the United States. There are political and commercial perspectives.
The shale gas boom that started in the United States is spreading globally. A recent report from the Energy Information Administration indicated that China has the world’s largest technically recoverable shale gas resource. Beijing is now working to help their shale gas resource get off the ground quickly with research funding and other assistance. More at MSNBC.com.
People in France are concerned about the potential environmental and social impact of developing their natural gas shale but at the same time they are concerned about their energy security. More at WorldOil.com.
Some companies are starting to doubt the initially optimistic opinions about the Niobrara Shale that has produced oil and natural gas in the Colorado, Western Nebraska and Wyoming area. Some recent wells have not been commercially viable and that has generated uncertainty. More at GulfNews.com.
The shale gas boom that started in the United States has spread to countries worldwide. The Energy Information Administration has released a report that summarizes the shale gas resource for 14 regions outside of the United States. Get the report.
The Houston Chronicle is a close watcher of the oil and gas industry – especially in Texas. Here is a quote from a recent HC article…. “Development of the Eagle Ford shale [...] shows promise of being the most important economic generator South Texas has ever seen.
According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, the Haynesville Shale of Louisiana is now producing more natural gas than the Barnett Shale of Texas, running at a rate of about 5.5 billion cubic feet per day.
“Total marketed natural gas production grew strongly throughout 2010 (4.4 percent), increasing from 59.7 Bcf/d in January to an estimated 63.7 Bcf/d in December. Year-over-year growth in 2011 is expected to slow considerably to just 0.8 percent as an increase of 1.0 Bcf/d in the lower-48 states is partially offset by a decline of 0.4 Bcf/d in the Gulf of Mexico.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration’s Short Term Energy Outlook.
The Deep Carbon Observatory is an initiative dedicated to achieving a transformational understanding of Earth’s deep carbon cycle, including its poorly constrained reservoirs and fluxes, the unknown role of deep biology, and unexplored influences of the deep carbon cycle on critical societal concerns related to energy, environment and climate.
The United States has a greater fuel diversity today than at any time in its history. There are also more options available for future growth, yet this is also a time of great concern about energy choices for the future. More at Geology.com.
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“An estimated 18,500 southern Arizonans are without natural gas to heat their homes and service may not be restored until next Tuesday. The problem appears to be huge demand for gas nationwide due to the massive storm affecting most of the country. [...] Meanwhile, plans are under review to create huge caverns in salt deposits below the Picacho basin in Pinal County north of Tucson, to store natural gas under pressure to use during times of peak demand.” Quoted from the Arizona Geology Blog.
An article in the Montreal Gazette says that development of the Utica Shale in Quebec is encountering public opposition. In Quebec, landowners do not directly participate in natural gas royalties and lease payments as is customary in the United States.
Diverging estimates by three different organizations with significant expertise in oil and natural gas assessments leave one wondering how much oil really is in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations? Read the details on the Trib.com website.
Here are the estimates….
USGS…. 4.3 billion barrels
North Dakota Geological Survey…. 11 billion barrels
Continental Resources…. 20 billion barrels
“If we go back in time to the days before drilling and mining, real estate transactions were fee simple transfers. However, once commercial mineral production became possible, the ways in which people own property became much more complex. Today, the leases, sales, gifts and bequests of the past have produced a landscape where multiple people or companies have a partial ownership of or rights to many real estate parcels.” Quoted from the Geology.com article.
A rock layer below the Marcellus Shale could prove to be another incredible source of natural gas. The Utica Shale is thicker, more geographically extensive and has already proven its ability to support commercial production.