The federal Energy Information Administration says there’s a lot of natural gas ready to be harvested from the Marcellus Shale. The U.S. Geological says to lower that estimate:
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Marcellus Shale formation underlying most of Central and Northern Appalachia has 84 trillion cubic feet of “undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas . . . drastically lower than the 410 trillion cubic feet that was published earlier this year by the federal Energy Information Administration,” Ian Urbina reports for The New York Times.
The new estimate is of resources, not reserves, which are always smaller because they are based on the ability to extract them profitably. “The geologists also did not discuss how high gas prices will have to rise before companies can make enough money to justify increased drilling,” Urbina notes.