Natural gas supplies are expected to be adequate to meet current consumption levels under all likely gas price scenarios throughout the period 1987-2010. At a maximum, potential supply capability could increase to 30% over peak U.S. consumption levels experienced in the early 1970s.

These gas supply estimates include the domestic lower-48 sources which consist of conventional gas production, gas from tight formations, coal seam gas and gas from coproduction of gas and brine. These potential supply capability estimates have been developed without regard to specific gas demand constraints.


The A.G.A. Gas Supply Committee periodically updates its earlier assessments of the future potential for conventional and supplemental production of gas energy. As a result the estimates in this paper present a consensus view of the regulated gas transmission and distribution industry.

This report updates previous gas supply estimates published as Committee reports in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1985. This new assessment is a reevaluation of the future for gas energy supply in response to the transition of the gas industry to less regulation, increased marketplace competition, and a recognition of the potential of emerging technology. Thus, there are several fundamental factors which underlie this assessment of gas supply capability.

Dissipation of the gas "bubble" in the near-term, the excess gas deliverability which has persisted through the -1980s is expected to decline. The rate at which the bubble contracts and the subsequent response in exploration and production activity are important factors in determining future supply during the 1990s. This in turn will impact the rate of resource development through the time period covered by this report.

. Gas price stabilization - After several years of significant gas price increases to offset the impact of almost twenty years of rigid price controls, retail gas prices have stabilized in the past four years and are likely to grow only modestly in real terms for the next several years. The extent to which gas prices (and oil prices) grow through the period will impact heavily upon the availability of gas from the sources discussed in this report.

Technological advances - Major research program successes in areas such as tight formations, as well as exploration advances by the producers and service companies, have led to new judgements about the economic viability of some sources.

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