On Tuesday the U.S. Geological Survey released updated data on how much natural gas is contained in the Marcellus Shale. The new estimate finds that the Marcellus Shale contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids. 

From the USGS release:

The Marcellus Shale contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids according to a new assessment by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).

These gas estimates are significantly more than the last USGS assessment of the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin in 2002, which estimated a mean of about 2 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCF) and 0.01 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

The increase in undiscovered, technically recoverable resource is due to new geologic information and engineering data, as technological developments in producing unconventional resources have been significant in the last decade.  This Marcellus Shale estimate is of unconventional (or continuous-type) gas resources.

This news provides additional evidence of how promising of a source the Marcellus Shale is for our nation’s energy supply. It is absolutely critical to the competitiveness of manufacturers that they have access to affordable sources of energy. Adding burdensome and unnecessary regulations to the shale industry will only drive up the costs and add bureaucratic red tape with little benefit. 

You can find out more about this new estimate from the USGS here.

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