Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies

From: John Burgeson (ASA member) <>
Date: Wed Nov 18 2009 - 12:56:05 EST

Glenn and I (and others) have had some dialog on this, although not recently.

The gut issues are twofold:

1. How fast can these supplies be drawn? Analogy -- if you have
$10,000,000 in the bank, but can only withdraw $10 a day, you are not

2. How much energy does it take to extract gas energy? If it takes 1.1
BTU of energy to extract 1.0 BTU, that is not a good deal.

I don't pretend to have the answers to this -- just pointing out two
of the questions that must be asked.

On 11/18/09, Don Winterstein <> wrote:
> The Colorado School of Mines report is at
> This report tells me (between the lines) that some of these huge claimed
> reserves are somewhat more speculative--read "possibly impractical or
> inaccessible"--than I thought.
> Don
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Don Winterstein<>
> To: asa<>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 9:37 PM
> Subject: [asa] vast new gas supplies
> New applications of old technology have dramatically raised estimates of
> producible US gas supplies. According to Business Week (10/19/09), a
> Colorado School of Mines report claims US reserves may be as high as 1800
> TCF (trillion cubic feet), equivalent to 320 billion barrels of oil, or more
> than Saudi Arabia's known reserves. Most of this amount at this point
> exists only as speculation, but the reality is that known producible
> reserves have gone up 39% in the past two years--as the price of gas has
> plummeted.
> Oil companies have known for decades that huge quantities of methane
> existed in US sedimentary rock, and they've tried mostly in vain to produce
> it economically. Much of the earlier effort attempted to extract gas from
> tight (relatively impermeable) sandstones. The new reserves instead are in
> shale, a kind of rock seldom thought to make good reservoirs. Production
> involves a combination of two old technologies, drilling wells horizontally
> and then hydraulically fracturing the rock. Hydraulic fracturing involves
> pumping fluids and proppants into wells at high enough pressures to crack
> the rock in situ. The proppants, which are hard particles carried into
> formations by the fluids, get wedged in cracks and hold them open to give a
> lasting increase in permeability.
> Use of this technology is not limited to the US but should be applicable
> to many shales worldwide. Shale is the most common kind of sedimentary
> rock, and much of it is known to contain methane.
> Don

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Received on Wed Nov 18 12:56:31 2009

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