Evaluation of Technically-Recoverable Resources in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas Plays of the Appalachian Basin
By: Ray Boswell (June 23, 2021)
This article highlights the significant role of domestic gas resources in the U.S. economy and their potential contribution to future sustainable and carbon-neutral fuel systems. The Appalachian region, particularly the Marcellus and Utica-Point Pleasant shale plays, is projected to account for over 30% of U.S. natural gas production until 2050. However, there has been a growing disparity in resource assessments for these plays, leading to uncertainty regarding their actual availability. The National Energy Technology Laboratory's Strategic Systems Analysis and Engineering (SSAE) method focuses on utilizing well production data to verify these resource estimates. Their approach involves reviewing and filtering the database of historical wells to select the most representative of future productivity. SSAE's analysis of the data suggests that the actual resource potential of these plays could be about five times higher than the most conservative federal predictions. The findings emphasize the importance of accurate data handling and the potential underestimation of these gas plays' true value in meeting future energy demands.