The Ponzi scheme narrative promoted by the NYT gas reporter and the recent Rolling Stone Magazine article took another data hit yesterday, when two new reports put the useable gas from the Marcellus at respectively between 267 to 534 trillion cubic feet (IHS) and 460 to 634 trillion cubic feet (ICF study).
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_787326.html. Putting together the two reports done by consulting companies IHS and ICF, the range becomes 267 to 634 trillion cubic feet, enough Marcellus gas to meet total US demand for between approximately 10 to 33 years.
While the spread about Marcellus reserves is substantial, it ranges between huge and gargantuan numbers. That is the case, even if one prefers the EIA January, 2012 Marcellus estimate of 141 trillion cubic feet. Indeed, if one assumes Marcellus gas production of 2 trillion cubic feet per year (more than current production but possibly conservative), the Marcellus will be producing gas for 70 years at the low end of the range to more than 300 years at the high end of the range. No matter how one slices or dices the numbers, they are big and extraordinary.
Of course, arguments about reserves are becoming less speculative and even important, as each year of production goes into the history books. Production from shale gas now has a 10-year history, with a shale gas boom since 2007 yielding extraordinary amounts of gas and crashing the price of gas.
Just last night I had a conversation with an earnest young man who had listened to Deborah Rogers, made famous by being featured as a shale gas financial expert in the NYT and Rolling Stones Magazine, and was completely convinced that shale gas is a ponzi scheme. One would hope that when shale gas continues to provide large production for another 5 years that the stake would be driven through the Ponzi narrative.
But probably not. Unfortunately the Ponzi fabrication will likely be repeated indefinitely, as some just want to believe it so badly, and will join the radionuclide poisoning of waters as false statements that never are eradicated.