Houston, 5 October (Argus) — The Utica shale may contain 38 Tcf (1.1 trillion m³) of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas, according to the US Geological Survey's (USGS) first assessment of the formation.
The Utica shale has a mean estimate of about 940mn bl of unconventional oil resources and 9mn bl of unconventional NGLs.
By comparison, the Marcellus shale, which lies above the Utica, was estimated to hold 84 Tcf of natural gas, making it the largest gas basin assessed by the USGS.
The assessment of the Utica shale covered areas in Maryland, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
USGS estimates are based on recoverable oil and gas resources, which are quantities producible using currently available technology and industry practices. Economic and accessibility considerations are not considered.
As an emerging play, the Utica's infrastructure is still underdeveloped. Utility group DTE Energy and infrastructure companies Enbridge and Spectra Energy recently released plans to jointly develop a 1 Bcf/d (28mn m³/d) natural gas pipeline to move future supplies from the Utica shale to US midcontinent markets as well as Ontario, Canada.
That proposed pipeline – dubbed the Nexus Gas Transmission system – is projected to start service as early as November 2015, pending approval by federal regulators in the US and Canada.
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