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Upon Further Consideration, US Gas Reserves Look Bigger

Courtesy of Joshua Hicks, USGS.
The US Geological Survey drilled into the Mancos Shale to gather core samples as part of its recent efforts to estimate the oil and gas in the Colorado formation.

A second look at the size of US shale formations is revealing they hold far more natural gas, and pushed a new name up near the top of the list: the Mancos Shale.

A recent reassessment of the formation in western Colorado concluded it holds 66 Tcf of shale gas that could be produced using current technology, making it second only to the prolific Marcellus Formation for unconventional gas in the US.

This elevates the profile of the formation, which the US Geological Survey (USGS) had previously estimated at 1.6 Tcf in 2003. The agency also recently upped its estimate for the Barnett Shale, doubling it to 53 Tcf.

“We reassessed the Mancos Shale in the Piceance Basin as part of a broader effort to reassess priority onshore US continuous oil and gas accumulations,” said Sarah Hawkins, a USGS geologist who was the lead author of the study. “In the last decade, new drilling in the Mancos Shale provided additional geologic data and required a revision of our previous assessment of technically recoverable, undiscovered oil and gas.”

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Upon Further Consideration, US Gas Reserves Look Bigger

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 August 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 8

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