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Boswell, Ray M.1
(1) National Energy Technology Laboratory, Morgantown, WV

ABSTRACT: Natural Gas Resource Assessment at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory

The Gas Supply Program at the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory is charged with helping industry ensure the long-term sustainability of the nation’s gas supply. NETL accomplishes this goal through the development of advanced technologies capable of expanding the size and recoverability of the nation’s gas resource. Critical to this R&D effort is an understanding of the remaining gas resource base, particularly that resource that exists at and beyond the current margins of technical and economic recoverability. This particular need results in the application of a unique resource assessment method designed to capture the dynamics of resource recoverability under a variety of alternative technology, cost, and policy futures.
NETL’s assessments begin with a description of the remaining gas-in-place through analysis of thousands of geophysical well logs. Production records and remote sensing data are used to estimate the regional potential for fracture-related permeability enhancement. Computer models then predict the unique response of each of thousands of individual resource “packets” to potential changes in drilling costs, taxation, and other factors. Phase I, completed in February, 2003, estimated that roughly 4,700 tcf of gas exists in-place in selected formations of the Greater Green River and Wind River basins of Wyoming. Initial model results indicated that approximately 97% of that resource is currently not economically-recoverable, but noted that significant expansion in recoverability was possible with foreseeable technology advance. A second phase of this effort, focusing on the Anadarko basin of Oklahoma and the Uinta basin of Utah will be completed in 2004.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.