The U.S. Department of Energy cut estimates of Natural Gas reserves contained within the Marcellus Shale by 66% Monday, reported Bloomberg. Known Reserves are defined as those being recoverable using currently available technologies. The Energy Department sighted improved data on drilling and production as the basis for the new estimates. Previous estimates put the quantity of recoverable Natural Gas in the Marcellus Shale at 410 trillion cubic feet but the new data has reduced that estimate to 141 trillion cubic feet. These new estimates were published in the Departments "Annual Energy Outlook".
Previously, the U.S. Geological Survey said in August that it would reduce its estimates of undiscovered Marcellus Shale gas by as much as 80% after updated assessments by government geologists.
The estimated Marcellus reserves would meet U.S. natural gas demand for about 6 years, using 2010 consumption data, according to the Energy Department, down from 17 years in its previous Outlook.
The Annual Energy Outlook also estimated that 482 trillion cubic feet of gas could be produced from shale basins across the U.S. That number is down from it 827 cubic feet contained in last year's Outlook estimate.
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