Carnegie Mellon University
Natural Gas Resources

The following natural gas resouces provide background information and suggested links for data in global energy, economics, market trends, and frequently asked questions (FAQ).  Compiled and assessed by:  Lujia CaoJal Desai, Varun Deshpande, Daniel Noriega, and Jayanth Sharma (2017 updates by Coral Keller and 2018 updates by Ankit Kalanki)

The International Gas Union(IGU) is a worldwide non-profit organization that advocates gas as an integral part of a sustainable global energy system and promotes the political, technical and economic progress of the gas industry. The report “Natural Gas Facts & Figures” provided by IGU discusses 8 various topics regarding natural gas: Production and Reserves (Pages 2-14), Transmission (Pages 40-49), Liquefied Natural Gas (Pages 51-66), Underground Gas Storage (Pages 68-80), Distribution (Pages 81-82), Utilization (Pages 89-113), Gas Markets, Environmental Impact (Pages 114-124). The slides contain sources from IEA, Total Gas & Power, HIS Cera, and Total LNG group.  www.igu.org/resources-data

The U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) report “An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries outside the United States” (June 2013), aims to collect, analyze, and disseminate independent and impartial energy information that will promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. This report from EIA provides an initial assessment of shale oil resources in 41 countries outside the US. Updating an earlier 2011 assessment, this report describes how shale gas has impacted the global energy sector. Details include the amount of resources of shale oil and shale gas in the world (Page 25) and the top 10 countries with technically recoverable shale gas resources (Page 11).  www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas

The World Resource Institute also issues publications from time to time which provide useful information on different natural resources. The report on “Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability and Business Risks” (September 2014) also provides information on the potential global shale gas reserves and the impact on freshwater reserves as a result of increasing extraction of shale gas. This report can be accessed at https://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/wri14_report_shalegas.pdf.  All of their publications are available for download and can be accessed at https://www.wri.org/publication

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) maintains updated information about energy resources, extraction processes, generation plants, associated costs, future projections and current utilization. The Annual Energy Outlook released by EIA is useful for annual assessments of many energy resource types, including natural gas. This report forecasts future trends for natural gas in relation to energy prices, energy consumption through different resources, production, imports and exports projections, energy produced and future trends. www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/

Physicians for Social Responsibility is a medical and public health group that works to prevent and reverse global warming. Their latest report “Too Dirty, Too Dangerous: Why health professionals reject natural gas” addresses the issues that result through the extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracking. This report can be accessed at: http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/too-dirty-too-dangerous.pdf.

Another interesting report by Catherine Thomasson, MD, “Natural Gas: The Newest Danger for Global Warming” provides data for emissions, effects of methane on the environment, policies that are going to be instrumental in reducing emissions and standards that need to be followed to ensure reduction in leakage and emissions. It advocates against EPA’s policy of the use of natural gas in vehicles as the emissions would increase climate change. This report can be accessed at: www.psr.org/environment-and-health/environmental-health-policy-institute/responses/natural-gas-the-newest-danger-global-warming.html

Methane emissions from Natural Gas pipelines and infrastructure is a major concern for environment as methane has higher Global Warming Potential (GWP) compared to carbon dioxide. The report titled “Greater focus needed on methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure” by Stephen W. Pacala et al (February 13, 2012), highlights the need for limiting methane emissions through pipelines for the US to achieve preset targets. The report also addresses growth of new combined cycle natural gas plants over coal substitutes as they have higher efficiency and lower emissions. It also throws light on how the EPA’s promotion for CNG heavy vehicles could be counterproductive and may lead to more emissions and associated climate change. The report can be accessed at: www.pnas.org/content/109/17/6435.full

The United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas, a representative body of the United Kingdom industry fully funded by its members, presents a webpage containing information about the history, regulation, economics and benefits, and drilling process. Although it is focused on the United Kingdom, it offers information about the gas industry regarding the worldwide available technology, processes and motivations. Furthermore, the webpage includes useful information regarding the water consumption of traditional and new technologies during the extraction processes, and possible environmental outcomes. www.ukoog.org.uk/onshore-extraction

The Minnesota State University, an educational institution, offers a webpage presenting information about the current technology regarding the conversion of the energy stored in natural gas. It offers an overview of the current types of compressors, combustors and how gas and steam turbines are built and operated. Information regarding other components of a typical power plant, including the boiler, chiller and cooling tower is also provided. The webpage is designed as a support for courses related to Thermodynamics. http://cset.mnsu.edu/engagethermo/index.html

The Union of Concerned Scientists, funded by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offers information regarding the environmental impacts of the natural gas usage.  This website also contains a considerable amount of useful information regarding energy technologies in general. It is an interactive webpage that allows browsing by energy technology type with information on its benefits and costs regarding environmental impacts. This website is a useful hub to access both quantitative and qualitative information about existing technologies, and possible new developments that could impact the energy industry. www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/environmental-impacts-of-natural-gas.html#.VwXpK6QrI2w

The U.S Energy Information Administration maintains a database of power plants for each year where it captures information about all types of power plants in the US. It contains data relating to fuel type, turbine type, owner, location, capacity and energy output statistics. The links below will help to gather all the data related to natural gas generation sites:

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia860/

www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia923/

The U.S Energy Information Administration maintains a section known as “Levelized cost and levelized avoided cost of new generation resources” in their Annual Energy Outlook. This section of the report details factors that affect levelized cost of electricity from natural gas power plants and also maintains statistics for U.S average levelized cost for plants which are deemed to come online in the future.

www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

The United States consumed about 27 trillion cubic feet of Natural gas in 2017, observing a compounded annual growth rate of 1.5% over the past decade. Electricity generation sector was the highest end use gas consumer at 33% and has been increasingly substituting coal which contributed about 30% to the electricity generation. The Annual Energy Outlook 2018 published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) projects the future trends in the consumption of natural gas and the changing dynamics of electric power sector through 2050. This report can be accessed at https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/

The Short Term Energy Outlook provided by the U.S. EIA provides detailed information about the near term trends in the natural gas market. https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/natgas.php

Knoema is a repository of statistical information. In the case of natural gas, the website showcases pricing trends from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Economic Intelligence unit.  http://knoema.com/ncszerf/natural-gas-prices-long-term-forecast-to-2020-data-and-charts

The Annual Energy Outlook published by the EIA has natural gas pricing trends on page 27 of their executive summary and also detailed scenario simulations. www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo (Page 27)

The statistics about natural gas are made available by a number of institutions and organizations. Some of the popular databases are:

  1. International Energy Agency (IEA), World Energy Outlook: https://www.iea.org/publications/
  2. BP Statistical Review of World Energy: https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/downloads.html
  3. Enerdata: https://yearbook.enerdata.net/natural-gas/gas-consumption-data.html
  4. The Annual Energy Outlook contains trends for multiple domestic natural gas production scenarios forecasted up to 2040: https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/

The U.S Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply and the Division of Natural Gas Regulatory Activities publishes a report called ‘Natural gas imports and exports’ for each quarter. This report provides information on imports and exports via pipeline and trucking, categorized over short and long term. It also captures information of imports and exports categorized by country.

These reports can be accessed at https://www.energy.gov/fe/listings/natural-gas-imports-and-exports-quarterly-reports