Source : Charleston Gazette
By Ken Ward Jr., January 23, 2012
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal government analysts on Monday slashed their estimate of the natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale formation, and at least one major producer announced plans to cut in half its expenditures on new gas leases in the wake of dropping prices.
The U.S. Department of Energy cut its estimate of the Marcellus reserves from 410 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to 141 trillion cubic feet, citing better production information that emerges as drilling operations in the region mature and the exclusion of data from the pre-shale area.
“Drilling in the Marcellus accelerated rapidly in 2010 and 2011, so that there is far more information available today than a year ago,” said the DOE’s Energy Information Administration.
Source : Treehugger
Hot on the heels of recent MIT survey showing that natural gas use in the US is set to double in the coming decades, an important counterpoint over at Yale e360 highlights some of the problems that transition will bring.
At the center of it are the environmental consequences of Fracking (that’s hydraulic fracturing) and the same issue which dogs oil, the difference between easily accessible reserves and those which may, someday, somehow, and at great cost be recovered.
That last part first: Author Daniel Botkin, professor emeritus of UC Santa Barbara, points out that the USGS lists natural gas with four categories of reserves. 1% are ‘readily available with current technologies’, 5% are ‘technically recoverable’, 6% are ‘marginal targets for accelerated technology’, and the remaining 84% are ‘unknown but probable’. Shale gas is in that last category.
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What is Hydraulic Fracturing and Marcellus Shale?