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 provided by Coral Keller)

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.

An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries outside the United States - June 2013

This report is provided by the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA), which 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).

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 (page 6), energy consumption through different resources (pages 7-9), production (pages 11-13), imports and exports projections (pages 15-17), energy produced and future trends (pages 27-29).

The Newest Danger for Global Warming by Catherine Thomasson, MD

Physicians for Social Responsibility is a medical and public health group that works to prevent and reverse global warming. This report 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.

Greater focus needed on methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure by Stephen W. Pacala et al, February 13, 2012

This report focuses on methane leakage problems through existing pipelines and infrastructure and CNG vehicles. This report 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 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.

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.

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.

The U.S Energy Information Administration maintains a database of power plants (known as EIA 923) 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 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 deemed to come online in the future.

Natural gas working inventories were 2,536 billion cubic feet (Bcf) on February 26th 2016, 46% higher than during the same week last year and 36% higher than the previous five-year average (2011-15) for that week. Based on inventories and other factors, natural gas is expected to fuel the largest share of electricity generation in 2016 at 33%, compared with 32% for coal. Trends of natural gas consumption are captured in the short term energy outlook report by the U.S EIA. (Page 10)

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. 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. (Page 27)

The Annual Energy Outlook contains trends for multiple domestic natural gas production scenarios forecasted up to 2040. (Page 29)

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. (starts on page 13)