December 5, 2014

Natural gas: The fracking fallacy

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December 3, 2014 | Nature | Mason Inman

Widely used estimates of future U.S. natural gas production, including those from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and prominent companies  like Goldman Sachs, may have overstated how much natural gas developers can extract in coming decades. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin did an independent analysis of the major U.S. shale plays and predicted that oil production will peak soon then drop off, instead of continuing to grow well into the 2020s as EIA predicts.

This comes on the heels of the EIA’s latest report on the outlook of U.S. natural gas, which includes a new record-high estimate of proved natural gas reserves.

Along with this article, Nature published an editorial criticizing the U.S. government for not investing more in tracking and assessing its own natural resources. (And Nature gets a hat-tip for making the data comparing natural gas predictions available for download.)