NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Shale Revolution Brought Natural Gas Production to Historic Heights

April 22, 2015

The Potential Gas Committee recently released its year-end 2014 U.S. natural gas resource base estimate, which totals 2,515 trillion cubic feet - the largest level in its 50-year history and 131 trillion cubic feet above its previous high estimate for 2012. Compared to its year-end 2012 assessment, traditional resources increased by 5.9 percent, and coalbed gas resources declined by 0.1 percent, resulting in a net increase in total potential natural gas resources of 5.5 percent. At current levels of consumption, the Potential Gas Committee's assessment indicates that the United States has over 100 years supply of natural gas.

The Atlantic area ranks as the nation's richest resource area with 35 percent of total U.S. traditional resources, followed by the Gulf Coast with 23 percent, the Rocky Mountains with 18 percent, and the Mid-Continent area with 12.5 percent.

In 2014, dry natural gas accounted for 30 percent of total U.S. energy production and the Energy Information Administration expects it to continue to be the largest contributor to total U.S. energy production through 2040. The Energy Information Administration expects natural gas to increase to 35.45 trillion cubic feet in its Annual Energy Outlook 2015. Moreover, the United States is expected to be a net exporter of natural gas by 2017.

The government's policies are not responsible brought for the production and resource increases. Natural gas production on federal lands has declined by 31 percent over the past five years, while production on private and state lands has increased by 37 percent.

Source: "U.S. Natural Gas Resources Reach Historic Heights," Institute for Energy Research, April 21, 2015.


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