August 2011, Vol. 238 No. 8

Projects

EIA tallys shale oil and gas resources

The Energy Information Agency (EIA) has released a report estimating the volumes of gas and oil recoverable from shale plays in the 48 contiguous United States: about 750 trillion cubic feet of gas, and 24 billion barrels of oil. The agency makes note that its figures represent technically recoverable resources, and make no judgment on the financial viability of the exercise. The EIA also notes that there are many factors which make estimating the size of the plays uncertain, including the list below: “Because most shale gas and shale oil wells are only a few years old, their long-term productivity is untested. Consequently, the long-term production profiles of shale

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