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334 Trillion Cubic Feet Of Natural Gas Discovered In USA

Geology Haynesville shale

Technological advancements have just pushed the boundaries of recoverable oil and gas in the U.S. further, according to an announcement by the U.S. Geological Survey. The agency reported that two formations in the Gulf Coast Basin may contain as much as 304.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas plus 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, making the area the largest untapped continuous gas deposit in the country.

The two formations—Haynesville and Bossier—also contain some 4 billion barrels of crude, according to mean estimates, the USGS also said in a press release.

Most of the newly recoverable gas is in the Haynesville formation, which contains around 195.8 trillion cubic feet. It also holds 900 million barrels of natural gas liquids and some 1.1 billion barrels of oil. The rest is in the Bossier formation.

The USGS has been reassessing a lot of oil and gas deposits across the U.S., noting how new exploration and extraction technologies have been “a game-changer” for the industry. Indeed, the last assessment of the Haynesville and Bossier formations was conducted seven years ago, and oil and gas technology has undergone major evolution since then.

It bears noting, however, that these are mean estimates of the reserves contained in the two formations. For gas, the range runs from 37.1 trillion cu ft to 223.5 trillion cu ft for Bossier, and from 96.3 trillion cu ft to 341 trillion cu ft for Haynesville. Still, even the minimum estimates are impressive, and could theoretically push gas prices even lower.

Meanwhile, the EIA said in a recent report that natural gas will surpass coal as the top power generation fuel this summer – some good news on the demand side. Gas, the authority expects, will account for 34 percent of generation fuels, versus 32 percent for coal. As good as this is—the third summer in a row that power plants in the U.S. will use more gas than coal—the summer 2017 estimate is lower than the 36 percent that gas accounted for last summer.

The oil reserves contained in the two Gulf Coast Basin formations are also not to be underestimated. The range for Bossier is from 1.2 billion barrels to 5.1 billion barrels, and for Haynesville, the range is between 286 million barrels and 2.5 billion barrels. That’s bound to attract drillers there, potentially adding to worry that maybe, after all, OPEC’s cut extension will have less of an effect on global supply and demand.

The worry may deepen as the Geological Survey continues to reassess hydrocarbon basins, in all likelihood adding to the total technically recoverable oil and gas reserves of the U.S. and fueling further increases in output. After all, less than a year ago, the USGS announced an upward revision of the oil reserves in the Wolfcamp Basin, part of the Permian, and the play saw a major influx of energy companies and private equity investors, all scrambling for a share of the newly revealed 20 billion barrels of crude.

Now, the Permian is the driver of U.S. shale output growth, and it will most likely continue to be so for the rest of the year. It is also likely that the Bossier and Haynesville formations could see some increased drilling activity as well.

By Irina Slav for


21 Comments on "334 Trillion Cubic Feet Of Natural Gas Discovered In USA"

  1. AFDF on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 9:20 am 

    I like gas. It’s a simpler system.
    Oil heat is another beast but I’m learning.

    I’ll end up with oil, gas, solar cells, solar radiation, wood, and, electric heating. I’ll consider free wood chips for chemical heating and consistent release of heat.

  2. brough on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 9:41 am 

    Unlike oil, there is still a lot of natural gas deposits waiting to be discovered.
    In many respects the human race is leaving behind the oil age and entering the age of methane.

  3. Sissyfuss on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 10:54 am 

    Oh Bro, the Arctic has already entered the age of methane in a bigamous fashion. Be prepared to feel really toasty in the near future.

  4. Apneaman on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 11:03 am 

    BP oil spill did $17.2 billion in damage to natural resources, scientists find in first-ever financial evaluation of spill’s impact

    3 cheers for the princes of Cancer.

  5. Apneaman on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 11:04 am 

    rockman, get over here and tell us how it’s all the “consumers” fault.

  6. Apneaman on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 11:19 am 

    Sissyfuss, bigamous? Never heard that one before. I like it. You win for word of the day.

  7. Cloggie on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 11:49 am 

    Our Slochteren was 2800 billion m3

    1 m3 is 35 ft3

    So we once had the 9th largest gas field in the world, sized 100 trillion ft3 and served us well for more than 50 years and without it we would not have one of the most prosperous countries in Europe.

    So the US has 3.3 times that amount. Congratulations! The population is 20 times Holland. So that’s almost a decade worth of US national consumption according to Dutch consumption levels and we did (and still do) almost everything with it (space heating, cooking and several gas power stations).

    Unfortunately we now have this climate thingy, so I trust you are not going to use it.



    Seriously, how are we going to tell Richard Heinberg about this new development? The poor lad will now be forced to close down his Post-Carbon Institute operation.

    So sad.

  8. Plantagenet on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 12:01 pm 

    There already was a Natural Gas glut.


  9. GregT on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 12:07 pm 

    “In many respects the human race is leaving behind the oil age and entering the age of methane.”

    “Methane or natural gas, however, is 72 times more potent at capturing heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after release. Methane gradually converts to carbon dioxide, so it’s worst in the short term; the global warming potential over 100 years is about 25 times that of carbon dioxide.”

    The Humans are going away.

  10. Cloggie on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 12:34 pm 

    Everything goes away. The question is when.

  11. Midnight Oil on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 12:51 pm 

    Dang, Swamp People +1, Earth two steps back
    Some entertainment for our Southern Hillbillies that I know will keep them happy.

    Boy, what’s next? Let me quess, they “find” a massive amount of Methane in the land of New Jersey to make us energy independent.
    American Great once moar!
    Right, Rockman?

  12. Apneaman on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 12:55 pm 

    Greg, indeed.

    Hair clog, sooner than you think. The order of the day is “faster than previously expected”. We were warned decades ago that these feedback loops could happen and did nothing except MORE.

    Earth’s melting permafrost threatens to unleash a dangerous climate feedback loop

    An observation-based constraint on permafrost loss as a function of global warming

  13. rockman on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 1:33 pm 

    “Unlike oil, there is still a lot of natural gas deposits waiting to be discovered.”. I suspect you meant to say produced and not discovered. All the US NG trends were discovered many years ago. But commerciality can change significantly as tech and prices improve.

    As far as tech goes all the tech used to develop the fractured shales existed more then 20 years ago. And as just mentioned the trends were also known. But what changed is an understanding of how productive some plays, like the Marcellus, can be with the established tech. For instance the huge success with hz drilling in the Austin Chalk carbonate shale in Texas more then 10 years before the Marcellus took off is a great example of geologic “regionalism”: geologists/engineers might know all there to know about a play in one part of the country while having no exposure to tech/application in others. Even the infrastructure might be unavailable to them: years ago the Rockman geosteered a number of hz wells for ExxonMobil in Wyoming. But one of the service companies involved in drilling the the lateral came out of Lafayette, La., even though there were some experienced hands we used that were closer. But most of them came out of Canada. BTW the geologist that came up with the proposal to redrill this 25,000 acre oil field (with 550 vertical wells in it averaging 10 bopd each) had been an Austin Chalk hz player in the day. And those new hz wells: 175 bopd to 320 bopd.

    There’s always the same hurdle to overcome when selling a new concept to management: if no one else is doing why should we risk it?I suspect a big contributing factor for the initial Marcellus efforts was a huge increase in NG prices: from less the $3/MCF to over $12/MCF. All economic analysis uses a “risk factor” to adjust the ROR. The only way for the ROR to get bumped up enough to offset an untested concept is a higher oil/NG price. Had NG prices been that high 10 years earlier when the same tech was being deployed in the Austin Chalk it likely would have been tried in the Marcellus which was known to contain NG decades earlier.

    As far as the USGS resource numbers they are just playing catch up now that tech is better appreciated.

  14. Dredd on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 1:43 pm 

    This reminds me of the discovery reported last week (Antarctica 2.0).

    Or that planet they say they know about but can’t seem to find (You Are Here).

  15. Dredd on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 1:49 pm 

    Nobody can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell (Blind Willie McTell News).

    Nobody can sing “99 barrels of oil on the wall, 99 barrels of oil, take one down pass it around, 98 barrels of oil on the wall” like rockman.

  16. rockman on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 1:49 pm 

    And while the Marcellus is still delivering a lot of production the booming increases y-o-y have passed. The latest monthly production increase: from 13,194 thousand cuft/day to 13,368 thousand cuft/day. And likely a combination of two critical factors: continued relatively low NG prices and pipeline constraints. But there’s hope on the horizon for better prices: plans for a number of very large local processing plants to convert the NG to feedstock for the plastics industry.

  17. Dredd on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 1:56 pm 

    At least with gas they can make Houston flatulence great again (Once Upon A Time In The West – 2).

  18. Boat on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 2:45 pm 

    I don’t know the price point of where the Marcellus starts adding rigs but coal use kicks in when nat gas gets over $3. So the real question is wether this huge new hoard can be developed at $2.75 or lower. The Marcellus is adding pipeline capacity, solar and wind are cheaper. It may be most of that new nat gas will stay in the ground unless the international market prices stay high enough.

  19. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 3:30 pm 

    KOOL. Let’s vent all of it, directly into
    the atmosphere. It will speed up the
    pace of global warming.

  20. ________________________________________ on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 5:21 pm 

    That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.

  21. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 25th Apr 2017 2:32 am 

    And while they are venting out all that
    natural gas, I will have lots of tire-fires
    in my backyard. And bring over your
    old furniture, we’ll throw all that on too.
    The giant clouds of black smoke should
    help speed up global warming.

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