Worldwide estimates of deep natural gas resources based on the U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment 2000

Natural Resources Research
By: , and 



The U.S. Geological Survey recently assessed undiscovered conventional gas and oil resources in eight regions of the world outside the U.S. The resources assessed were those estimated to have the potential to be added to reserves within the next thirty years. This study is a worldwide analysis of the estimated volumes and distribution of deep (>4.5 km or about 15,000 ft), undiscovered conventional natural gas resources based on this assessment. Two hundred forty-six assessment units in 128 priority geologic provinces, 96 countries, and two jointly held areas were assessed using a probabilistic Total Petroleum System approach. Priority geologic provinces were selected from a ranking of 937 provinces worldwide. The U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment Team did not assess undiscovered petroleum resources in the U.S. For this report, mean estimated volumes of deep conventional undiscovered gas resources in the U.S. are taken from estimates of 101 deep plays (out of a total of 550 conventional plays in the U.S.) from the U.S. Geological Survey's 1995 National Assessment of Oil and Gas Resources. A probabilistic method was designed to subdivide gas resources into depth slices using a median-based triangular probability distribution as a model for drilling depth to estimate the percentages of estimated gas resources below various depths. For both the World Petroleum Assessment 2000 and the 1995 National Assessment of Oil and Gas Resources, minimum, median, and maximum depths were assigned to each assessment unit and play; these depths were used in our analysis. Two-hundred seventy-four deep assessment units and plays in 124 petroleum provinces were identified for the U.S. and the world. These assessment units and plays contain a mean undiscovered conventional gas resource of 844 trillion cubic ft (Tcf) occuring at depths below 4.5 km. The deep undiscovered conventional gas resource (844 Tcf) is about 17% of the total world gas resource (4,928 Tcf) based on the provinces assessed and includes a mean estimate of 259 Tcf of U.S. gas from the U.S. 1995 National Assessment. Of the eight regions, the Former Soviet Union (Region 1) contains the largest estimated volume of undiscovered deep gas with a mean resource of343 Tcf.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Worldwide estimates of deep natural gas resources based on the U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment 2000
Series title Natural Resources Research
DOI 10.1023/A:1019860722244
Volume 11
Issue 3
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher Springer Link
Description 12 p.
First page 207
Last page 218
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