October 08, 2012

Psst Meester.... Have you heard?

USGS is excited about the Utica Shale reserve potential!   So are you ready to "play"?

Here’s the USGS press release (compliments of StateImpact):

The Utica Shale con­tains about 38 tril­lion cubic feet of undis­cov­ered, tech­ni­cally recov­er­able nat­ural gas (at the mean esti­mate) accord­ing to the first assess­ment of this con­tin­u­ous (uncon­ven­tional) nat­ural gas accu­mu­la­tion by the U. S. Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey.  The Utica Shale has a mean of 940 mil­lion bar­rels of uncon­ven­tional oil resources and a mean of 9 mil­lion bar­rels of uncon­ven­tional nat­ural gas liquids.
The Utica Shale lies beneath the Mar­cel­lus Shale, and both are part of the Appalachian Basin, which is the longest-producing petro­leum province in the United States. The Mar­cel­lus Shale, at 84 TCF of nat­ural gas, is the largest uncon­ven­tional gas basin USGS has assessed.  This is fol­lowed closely by the Greater Green River Basin in south­west­ern Wyoming, which has 84 TCF of undis­cov­ered nat­ural gas, of which 82 TCF is con­tin­u­ous (tight gas).
“Under­stand­ing our domes­tic oil and gas resource poten­tial is impor­tant, which is why we assess emerg­ing plays like the Utica, as well as areas that have been in pro­duc­tion for some time” said Brenda Pierce, USGS Energy Resources Pro­gram Coor­di­na­tor.  “Pub­licly avail­able infor­ma­tion about undis­cov­ered oil and gas resources can aid pol­icy mak­ers and resource man­agers, and inform the debate about resource development.”
The Utica Shale assess­ment cov­ered areas in Mary­land, New York, Ohio, Penn­syl­va­nia, Vir­ginia, and West Virginia.
Some shale rock for­ma­tions, like the Utica and Mar­cel­lus, can be source rocks – those for­ma­tions from which hydro­car­bons, such as oil and gas, orig­i­nate. Con­ven­tional oil and gas resources grad­u­ally migrate away from the source rock into other for­ma­tions and traps, whereas con­tin­u­ous resources, such as shale oil and shale gas, remain trapped within the orig­i­nal source rock.
These new esti­mates are for tech­ni­cally recov­er­able oil and gas resources, which are those quan­ti­ties of oil and gas pro­ducible using cur­rently avail­able tech­nol­ogy and indus­try prac­tices, regard­less of eco­nomic or acces­si­bil­ity considerations.
This USGS assess­ment is an esti­mate of con­tin­u­ous oil, gas, and nat­ural gas liq­uid accu­mu­la­tions in the Upper Ordovi­cian Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin. The esti­mate of undis­cov­ered oil ranges from 590 mil­lion bar­rels to 1.39 bil­lion bar­rels (95 per­cent to 5 per­cent prob­a­bil­ity, respec­tively), nat­ural gas ranges from 21 to 61 TCF (95 per­cent to 5 per­cent prob­a­bil­ity, respec­tively), and the esti­mate of nat­ural gas liq­uids ranges from 4 to 16 mil­lion bar­rels (95 per­cent to 5 per­cent prob­a­bil­ity, respectively).
USGS is the only provider of pub­licly avail­able esti­mates of undis­cov­ered tech­ni­cally recov­er­able oil and gas resources of onshore lands and off­shore state waters. The USGS Utica Shale assess­ment was under­taken as part of a nation­wide project assess­ing domes­tic petro­leum basins using stan­dard­ized method­ol­ogy and protocol.
 So here is my question:  Just how much of this country should we turn into drilling fields to satisfy energy needs?  When is it too much cost vs benefit?  And how do we recover lands when the reserves are done?

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