Skepticism About Size of U.S. Natural Gas Reserves is Without Basis


While several industry insiders have questioned the current perception that domestic oil production in the United States is thriving, a recent Forbes column argues that this skepticism is without basis.

The column is written specifically in response to a New York Times story stating that companies are inflating the size of existing reserves and the productivity of the wells they are drilling. Forbes asserts the United States is experiencing record production of natural gas and is on track to produce 27 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2011.

Extracting oil and gas from U.S. developments has just started, according to the media outlet. Natural gas is available in such abundance that certain companies like Cheniere Energy have received approval to start exporting it.

The New York Times article contends that extracting gas from the shale formations is more expensive than the companies involved make it seem. Forbes asks why drillers would invest so much money in their operations with receiving a return. The skeptics contend that companies overstate the amount of oil existing in the United States. However, The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that the Bakken formation holds between 3 billion and 4.3 billion barrels of oil.