Alan, Becker, Michael godec, William Pepper, and Anthony Zammerilli
Integrated national-level evaluation of North American natural gas supplies and markets has traditionally been compromised by lack of adequate data and the need to simplify the modeling methodology. The availability of more comprehensive and specific data on the domestic gas resource, combined with the continued evolution of high- speed computing capability to cost-effectively analyze this information, has provided the needed impetus to develop more sophisticated modeling capability to assess specific technology and policy impacts on the U.S. natural gas market.
The paper presents an overview of the Gas Systems Analysis Model (GSAM), which has recently been developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to assist federal R&D planners and policy analysts. GSAM is a comprehensive, market-driven planning tool which can be cost-effectively tailored to assess economic, technology, and strategic facets of gas market planning from the specific reservoir setting to the unique end-user situation. The disaggregated supply assessment approach developed for GSAM, with the individual reservoir as the basic unit of analysis, provides the details needed for comprehensive technology assessment, R&D planning, and policy analysis, consistent with an evolving North American natural gas market.
The North American gas marketplace is rapidly evolving. Most forecasters believe the future growth of gas prices will be relatively modest. The historical surplus of gas deliverability has ended, new markets for gas are forming, and open access transportation is changing the way gas gets to market and the costs associated with getting it there. At the same time, the characteristics of U.S. gas supplies are changing. Environmental and economic pressures are increasing the need for expanding gas supplies. The primary source of U.S. gas reserve additions has shifted from new discoveries to the more extensive development of known resources, which will continue to come from increasingly more complex and technically challenging settings. Consequently, the U.S. must expand its sources of low-cost gas supplies, and technology will play a key role in achieving this expansion.