Department of Energy lowers Marcellus gas reserves estimate

The Department of Energy has drastically reduced its estimate for natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale. The Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports.

In a preview of its Energy Outlook for 2012, the DOE reduced its estimate of recoverable natural gas in the Marcellus from 410 trillion cubic feet to 141 trillion cubic.

The DOE's Energy Information Administration cut its estimate by nearly a third after receiving more production information during 2011. Those production numbers gave the DOE a better idea how much gas is actually under the ground.

The new estimate is also more in line with a competing estimate from the US Geological Survey of between 43 and 144 trillion cubic feet.

At the same time as the DOE's announcement on Monday, natural gas company Chesapeake announced that it will drastically reduce its drilling operations. The company cited low natural gas prices as the reason for its decision.


PHOTO:  stevendepolo / via