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Abundance of Natural Gas

Thanks to innovations in drilling and completion techniques, natural gas is now abundantly available in the U.S., and the country now ranks as the world’s top natural gas producer.

Over the last decade, drilling and well completion techniques have revolutionized the natural gas industry, opening up massive new sources of domestic shale gas production. The surge in shale gas production has expanded supplies in the United States, helping to lower prices.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimated total U.S. natural gas reserves and resources of 1,200 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in 2000, or roughly 50 years of supply. Since that time, more than 300 TCF of natural gas has been produced, yet the estimated resource base has more than doubled to 2,700 TCF, almost a century of supply at current consumption. The majority of the increase is due to higher estimated potential for shale gas, tight gas and coal seam gas.

According to the International Energy Agency, worldwide proven gas reserves are estimated at around 190 trillion cubic meters (tcm) or about 56 times current annual global gas production. However, recoverable gas resources, volumes that analysts are confident will be discovered or technology developed to produce them, are much larger, with recoverable conventional resources estimated at around 400 tcm – enough resources for hundreds of years.