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22.04.2011

US Raises World Gas Estimates by 40%

Washington has boosted its estimate of the world's recoverable natural gas by more than 40 per cent after assessing shale gas deposits in 32 countries outside the US.

The Energy Information Agency (EIA), the independent data and analysis arm of the US department of energy, now calculates there could be at least 9.27 quadrillion, cubic feet (cu ft) of gas worldwide that could be pumped economically at current prices, up from its previous estimate of 6.62 quadrillion cu ft of reserves.

The agency has added 5.76 quadrillion cu ft of shale gas in overseas deposits it deems likely to be exploited to its estimate of an 862 trillion cu ft of such resources in the US.

The EIA did not include the substantial shale gas deposits thought to exist in Russia, the Caspian region or the Middle East in its assessment, on the grounds that those regions have such large conventional gas reserves that they were unlikely to invest in shale gas projects.

"It's an unusual statement. We don't really say we know better than the countries we assessed," said Fawzi Aloulou, the author of the new EIA report on world shale gas, told the Dubai Global Energy Forum on Tuesday in a preview.

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