The U.S. natural gas industry has gone through quite a transformation over the last three years. When Navigant released its North American Natural Gas Supply Assessment in July 2008, our high-end estimate of the ultimately recoverable resources in the United States, was a 47 percent increase over the previous high industry estimate. However, as the nation and the industry have moved up the learning curve around natural gas supply and particularly shale gas, Navigant’s high-end estimate has become conservative.
Late in July, the United States Geological Survey increased its estimate of undiscovered gas in the Marcellus by a factor of 42, yet some media reported that the U.S. government had “slashed” its reserve estimate for the Marcellus by 80 percent. How can that be? Director Rick Smead gets to the bottom of the contradiction in the September 2011 issue of NG Market Notes, and finds that the size and market promise of the Marcellus resource are very much intact.