U.S. Geological Survey Nearly Doubles Estimates of Marcellus Shale Contents
Courtesy of USGS
On Aug. 23, 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released new estimates of the natural gas contents of the Marcellus Shale that are 42 times greater than the agency's 2002 estimates. The new numbers estimate undiscovered "technically recoverable" resources at 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. "Technically recoverable" resources are those that are producible under current industry practices and using currently available technology, without economic or accessibility evaluation. The USGS attributes the increased numbers to new developments in extraction technology and engineering, leading to an improved geological understanding of the area.