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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

04 March 2006

Growth in oil & gas reserves

Two interesting reports highlight the potential growth in oil and gas reserves in the United States. The Department of Energy released a report according to which, “state-of-the-art enhanced oil recovery techniques could significantly increase recoverable oil resources of the United States in the future. According to the findings [of the report], 89 billion barrels or more could eventually be added to the current U.S. proven reserves of 21.4 billion barrels.” The technology in question is mainly carbon sequestration, whereby carbon dioxide is reinjected into a reservoir to improve pressure and enhance the ultimate quantity of oil which can be extracted from a reservoir.

A second report from the energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said that natural gas reserves in the Rocky Mountain can exceed 130 tcf by 2030 (they currently account for 57.5 tcf at the end of 2004, up from 19 tcf in 1977). This estimate was based on a statistical study of the rate of increase in reserves from 1977 to the present; if the current trend continued, the reserves could increase threefold in less than three decades.

References:
Department of Energy Press Release, “New CO2 Enhanced Recovery Technology Could Greatly Boost U.S. Oil,” 3 Mar 06 (link); “WoodMac sees growth in Rockies gas reserves,” Oil & Gas Journal, 27 Feb 06

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