A report issued by natural gas think tank the Potential Gas Committee estimated gas resources in the U.S. have surged by 35% due in large part to new technologies that have unlocked huge new domestic supplies of the clean fuel.
These results confirm industry and Department of Energy estimates of a 100-year supply of natural gas, which continues to grow as technology improves, and underscore the tremendous opportunities gas offers in terms of protecting America’s national security interests, meeting carbon regulations and serving as a critical foundation for renewable energy expansion.
Highlights of the report include an increase in gas supplies that is the largest in the 44-year history of reports from the Potential Gas Committee. Estimated gas reserves rose to 2.07 quadrillion cubic feet in 2008, from 1.5 quadrillion cubic feet in 2006 when the last report was issued.
Natural gas accounts for about a quarter of the nation's total energy use, and 22% of electrical production. The U.S. Energy Department estimates that demand for natural gas will rise by 13% by 2030.
America’s Natural Gas Alliance chairman David Trice says, “This is just the latest in a string of authoritative reports confirming the abundance of natural gas in America. It’s time for our national energy policy and market place decisions to reflect that this affordable, clean, and abundant resource is here now and can power America for the next century. Quite simply, we have gas in North America—lots of it—and it can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help secure a clean energy future.”
T. Boone Pickens, founder of the pro-gas Pickens Plan, lauded the findings of the report.
Pickens says, “Today’s report substantiates what I’ve been saying for years: there’s plenty of natural gas in the U.S. I launched the Pickens Plan a year ago to help reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and using our abundant supply of natural gas as a transition fuel for fleet vehicles and heavy-duty trucks is a key element of that plan. On the same day this report is going out, diesel prices are again on the rise, squeezing the trucking industry. Now more than ever we need to take action to enact energy reform that will immediately reduce oil imports.”
He adds the 2.07 quadrillion cubic feet of gas reserves are equivalent to about 350 billion oil barrels, the same as Saudi Arabia’s petroleum reserves.
According to The New York Times: “The finding raises the possibility that natural gas could emerge as a critical transition fuel that could help to battle global warming. For a given amount of heat energy, burning gas produces about half as much carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, as burning coal.”