A geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University, who is a recognized expert on the Marcellus Shale, has increased his original estimate of the technically recoverable natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale by nearly eight-fold.
Terry Engelder originally calculated that the technically recoverable gas in the Marcellus was about 50 Tcf. But he now believes the figure is closer to 392 Tcf and that's on the conservative side, he told NGI.
He said his revised calculations were based on data provided during a recent Chesapeake Energy investor analyst meeting. Engelder said he has also changed his estimate for the thickness of the Marcellus rock, which he initially believed to be 50 feet. Now it is believed that the thickness of the rock could range up to 300 feet, he said.
Chesapeake Energy, one of the major producers in the Marcellus, has estimated the core area of the shale play to be about 31 million acres, or 48,437 sections, according to Engelder. He conservatively estimated that each section has the potential of 90 Bcf, resulting in a total of 4,359 Tcf of natural gas in place.
If it's assumed that only 30% is recoverable, as Chesapeake Energy believes, then technically recoverable reserves would be about 1,307 Tcf, Engelder said.
However, Range Resources Corp., which Engelder considers to be the leader in the Marcellus Shale region, doesn't believe that all of the 31 million-acre core area can be produced, he noted.
Believing that to be the case, Engelder conservatively estimated that only 30% of the 1,307 Tcf, or 392 Tcf, would be recoverable in the future.
Even with the conservative figure, the Penn State professor said Marcellus is bigger than the Fayetteville, Woodford and Barnett shale areas put together.
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