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U.S. to Slash Marcellus Shale Gas Estimate 80%

The U.S. will slash its estimate of undiscovered Marcellus Shale natural gas by as much as 80 percent after a updated assessment by government geologists.

The formation, which stretches from New York to Tennessee, contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of gas, the U.S. Geological Survey said today in its first update in nine years. That supersedes an Energy Department projection of 410 trillion cubic feet, said Philip Budzik, an operations research analyst with the Energy Information Administration.

“We consider the USGS to be the experts in this matter,” Budzik said in an interview. “They’re geologists, we’re not. We’re going to be taking this number and using it in our model.

The formation, which stretches from New York to Tennessee, contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of gas, the U.S. Geological Survey said today in its first update in nine years. That supersedes an Energy Department projection of 410 trillion cubic feet, said Philip Budzik, an operations research analyst with the Energy Information Administration.

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  • Chris

    Is there any reason to believe either one of these government agencies? I am much more inclined to believe the estimates from others.

    • Steven

      You beat me to the comment. Form just the headline, I smelled a POLITICAL motive. The less energy there, the easier it is to argue against using it, even though the argument is false in any case.

      • violettesareblue

        They should all be forced to walk or ride a bike. NO more plane rides, big black buses, suvs, etc…practice what you preach!

    • Dwain Holmes

      You are 100% right.They are falling in with Obama’s bunch to keep us from drilling here!

      • OneCitizenOfTheRepublic

        How do you tell when a politician is lying?
        (1) He reads from his teleprompter
        (2) He forgets to read from his teleprompter
        (3) He sends an email/fax/snail mail/ or video/power point
        (4) He inhales and mumbles
        (5) He exhales and mumbles
        (6) His eyes are open and he speaks
        (7) His eyes are closed…and he speaks
        (8) Any other time that his lips are moving

        For all the female libtards, yes I meant male or female politicians.

    • Charlie Coombs

      Indeed. Why do I always discount anything our government says by 80%, even before they say it? Is it just my suspicious nature?

    • EdinNola

      These days, everything any agency of the government says is “politically motivated”, which means it’s all a lie to suit the needs of the administration. Frankly, it doesn’t make that much difference anyway. DRILL BABY DRILL.

    • flodnar

      Have you heard of GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. Like the CBO data which is based on the Administrations pie in the sky inputs.
      If you recall that Obama wants to kill Coal, Oil and Gas in the Country, and fund Brazil, you have your answer.
      2012 is coming , and we need to work at ending the Reign of Terror.History repeats itself!
      The French government established the Committee of Public Safety, which took its final form on 6 September 1793, and was ultimately dominated by Maximilien Robespierre, in order to suppress internal counter-revolutionary activities and raise additional French military forces.

    • Buddamacuddis

      You need to understand that this is another lie… Those Liberal Progressive Jackasses want you to believe in Global warming, praying to the trees, save the minnow, among many other Environmental Idealogy All these Democraps want is a new world order, socialism and the destruction of America as we know it.. Wonder how long it will be before states start succeeding from the Union, or get this shit together and boot the 5 big Liberal states that are causing this problem such as California, New York, Illinois, Oregon, Washington and Massachuetts out….

    • Old Highlander

      When president Obama comes back too Washington and talks about all the jobs he plans too create, I’m wondering where they will come from.
      After the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, it was drill baby drill, while telling his croonies too inform the EPA too do everything they could too put a stop to all drilling there.
      Now the plan is too stop a pipeline coming from Canada that would create thousands of job from construction and oil sands. Something smells badly and it isn’t oil.

    • don

      Obama and everyone who work for him (not us) is killing this country’s energy system!! Nothing they say can be trusted. The job market would be greatly improved if the government would approve of drilling everywhere, etc., but they will not. This “president” is doing this on purpose and he knows what he is doing. European countries have already proved that the green job industry is bogus. We already have solar companies closing. It take too large a space of land, etc. to produce the same electricity from wind and solar systems as compared to refineries, or nuclear plants. Obama’s government get your boot off America’s throat!!
      We can and should be independent of Arab countries’ energy control, and then maybe they would have less money to attack and kill us. Obama stirs up the muslims and at the same time shuts down our energy supply so he can squeez this country from both ends on purpose.

  • zappi1

    Estimating natural gas reserves in the ground is not an exact science…not by a long shot…in many cases, especially with the ‘tight formation’ of the Marcellus, the reserve estimates are
    basically an ‘educated guess’. Typically, estimates by the USGS will tend to be the wildly optimistic…usually quite large. So, over time and after several years of well production rates, the gas reserve estimates will be revised…and those revisions in reserve estimates usually drop lower….sometimes drastically lower. Is the Marcellus really a 410 trillion cubic foot reserve…..PROBABLY NOT….just wishful thinking and some hype.

    • carl

      On top of this the Marcellus is a shale where it doesnt have typical porosity,the gas is in the cleavage planes throughout the formation making it impossible to formulate.In other words its in layers in the shale so depended on how those are connected will determine how much will ultimately be produced after fracking.Each well has very different reservoir characteristics and field estimates are at best guestimates which is all this hype is anyway….

  • Betty Salsbury

    I worked for the Fed’s for a long time. Does anyone know how USGS EXPERTS evolve? Most start working for the Government right out of college, the only experence they have is working for the Government. These people don’t have any knowledge except what they received in school from a liberal leaning college. They have no practical experence what so ever. I wouldn’t believe anything they say.

    They said that the oil in Alaska would run out in 10 years, well that was 34 years ago and the oil is still flowing.

    • Ken

      I second that. While some of the Dept of Energy people I’ve had contact with over the years were pretty sharp, many of them weren’t good for anything except calling meetings, reviewing minutes of meetings, writing memos and in general keeping us contractors from doing any real work. Plus, they were hamstrung by the fact that they didn’t want to do anything to tick off the politically appointed higher-ups.

    • flodnar

      Not if Obama ends the Alaska pipeline. He has a plan!

  • Jerry

    Well, big surprise. The government absolutely does not want us to be dependent on our natural resources. The do not want us investing in energy and being self sufficient. Anything connected with the government is corrupt in this day and age. I have said for a long time that you can take a perfectly honest man and make him a politician, and he will be a crook in a half of an hour. How sad!!!

  • Gordon

    Amen Betty

  • Jim Laubscher

    In 1966 the industry told us they knew of 1000 years worth of natural gas available to us in the U.S. Congess decided to tax reserves in 1967. Our reserves went from 1000 years to seven years as if by magic. The agencies all hire new people based on their resume from school. I don’t think experience counts for more than a small percentage. It’s like the colleges all hire “their” people (Read, LIBERAL.) for professors.

  • denialator

    The truth of the matter is, oil & natural gas is “aboitic” and replenishes itself over time. We should always keep this in mind. If proven reserves and estimates on recoverable quantities are less than originally thought, this is irrelevant because the supply keeps regenerating, and will likely continue to do so indefinitely.

    What does matter is the restrictions and moratoria placed on access to these resources are called for by the globalists and oligarchy of elitists to gain all the more control over the behavior of ignorant people and weild their oppressive powers to manipulate the local markets, which is why the insidious propaganda machine continues to instil fears of domestic water well contamination from hydraulic fracturing, the potential to trigger earthquakes, etc. aided by the duped, imbecilic environmentalists and anti-energy extremists. Wind power, solar power and other green energy sources do not work, must have a minimum of 90% back-up from conventional (hydrocarbon / hydro-electric / nuclear power) to achieve reliability, and create more pollution because of staging on and off-line several times per day, when it would be much more economical and cleaner for these main sources to stay online and forget about the rest.

  • david

    Why is this website printing stupid Sh*t like this story and the story about fracing causing earthquakes???? moronoic at best.

  • Mike Rooker

    We know how often government employees are right about anything, right?

  • patrick stanley

    I am waiting to hear the responses of industry geologists & reservoir engineers.

    • JimBowKnows

      The industry guys are more knowledgeable for sure in matters of estimating existing gas and other energy deposits. Gas and oil companies always attract the most capable engineers and geologists to do the work that is step 1 on whether they make any money on a drilling project. And I don’t think many would buy the claim that carbon energy sources are aboitic (can’t even find that in a dictionary) as they are not self regenerating. At least over a useful lifetime for any type of energy well.

  • Dan Clamage

    How were they so wrong since just nine years ago? I mean that’s a pretty big mistake. Somebody ought to be held responsible for such a glaring error. People and companies invest large sums of money based on these initial estimates. If those were wrong, what else is the gov’t so wrong about? Like the CBO’s economic forecasts. Or the EPA’s estimates of the impact of the gasses we emit. How can we believe them when they do such a mediocre and flawed job?

  • onaroll

    84 trillion cubic feet. Not 80 or 85. Do I hear 84.35? Bullshit from an unaccountable source.

  • onaroll

    84 trillion cubic feet. Not 80 or 85. Do I hear 84.35? Bulls**t from an unaccountable source.

  • Brian912

    Oh we really dont have those resources so dont go using them. Save them for the Chinese once they own us completely.

  • Jimmy

    United States GS tells United States Energy Department your ESTIMATE is off by 80%. Thank you brother. US Energy Dept. bows to the Experts, what NO GEOLOGIST, in Energy Dept? Who made original estimate? Come on. Now both department loses credibility from the huddled masses.


    The oil and gas companies would not be as interested in a deposit with that kind of uncertainty and the government is trying to break their lease contracts now as they did in other leased areas at the beginning of this administration…this group of sleezebags in the WH are intent on throwing as many monkey wrenches in the running od this country as possible. Since the man in charge is a fraud and it will be proven, his edits and signature means nothing.

  • Berenice

    Just one of many steps toward dictatorship for our country.



  • Bill W

    This falls under “Things that make you go Hmmmm?” The solution to the dueling estimates is actually quite simple. The government should set some solid, reasonable, outcome based safety regulations and get the h*ll out of the way. The free market will determine EXACTLY how much is there and whether it is worth it to drill.

  • Doug Wilson

    Y’know, a nasty little thought has been percolating in my mind for a year. What if the Emperor intends to destroy the economy with national debt and then use those sacred resources of oil and gas to PAY OFF the debt, once we are in bondage. Hmmmm?

  • S Rubicon

    Amazing. I read this article & my immediate response was…. ‘this looks & sounds like a “political” statement.’ I went to the comments & bang, so many beat me to it. Amazing that so many others saw this for what I suspect it to be… an effort by the ‘greenies’ to discourage any developemt of fossil fuels. Despite the reality their green solutions will not be practical for at least 50, perhaps up to 100 years from now. I suspect this report is an effort to get people turned off to the Marcellus Shale Gas exploration plans so many have. Too many in our government are more committed to their own partisan political ideology than they are to this nation & its best interests!