Estimates for how much natural gas is available in shale deposits in the US continue to spiral downward. The US Energy Information Administration recently downsized its projections – in 2011 it estimated 827 trillion cubic feet but now says it’s more like 482 trillion cubic feet – more than a 40% drop.
Specifically for the Marcellus shale, covering parts of NY, Ohio and much of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, estimates have dropped from 410 trillion cubic feet to 141 trillion cubic feet – a whopping 66% lower (six years of supply rather than the 17 years originally touted). Meanwhile the US Geological Survey put the estimate at 84 trillion cubic feet in August. In other words, no one really has a solid handle on the situation.
So when the NC Geological Survey estimates that natural gas in shale deposits in our state could supply all our needs for 40 years or more – I suggest we remain skeptical and ask for a lot more data.
If you want to keep up with the latest news on fracking in NC, check out the NC Sierra Club’s new site, the Daily Frack.