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EIA increases world shale gas assessment by at least 10%

August 5, 2013

In a 2011 study, the Energy Information Administration pegged the global total of recoverable shale gas at 6.622 trillion cubic feet (TCF).  In a new assessment published this summer, that estimate has been increased to 7.299 TCF, in increase of about 10%.   However, there is a discrepancy between the estimates of the EIA and their study partners, Advanced Resources International (ARI).  ARI’s estimate of US shale gas reserves is about 75% higher than the EIA’s (1.161 TCF to 0.665 TCF).  The ARI numbers put the global total at 7.795 TCF, or nearly 18% higher than the 2011 estimate.  There is no explanation given for this difference; however, it appears that the EIA did not account for the huge Monterrey formation in California.

EIA-ARI

The next great play might well be in Argentina’s Neuquen Basin, which holds three formations containing a total of nearly 800 TCF.  However, the large number of rigs capable of horizontal drilling needed to achieve the critical level of drilling intensity, combined with the number of other plays vying for the limited supply of such rigs continues to be a seriously limiting factor.

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