Fossil Fuels

Assessing Gas and Oil Resources in the Intermountain West by Tom Latourette

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By Tom Latourette

This document lays the basis for selecting the fuel and oil assets which are realistically on hand whilst exploration and creation charges, infrastructure and transporation expenses, and enviromental affects are thought of.

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Extra info for Assessing Gas and Oil Resources in the Intermountain West Review of Methods and Framework for a New Approach

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88 Rockies & N. Great Plains (Region 4) Conventional Nonconventionalc Reserve appreciation Total unproved SW Wyoming (Prov. 1 37 38 resources. S. Geological Survey Province 037), for example, over 99 percent of the undiscovered conventional gas resource is in nonconventional deposits. 34/mcf. Thus, while gas resources in the Intermountain West are abundant, they are primarily contained within nonconventional deposits and are therefore largely inaccessible for economic reasons. 1 are current as of about 1994.

Overview of Infrastructure Components In this section, we discuss the infrastructure and equipment necessary to move the resource from the well to the market. We start at the equipment around the wellhead and continue with the local pipeline infrastructure (the “gathering system”), the processing facilities, and the interstate transmission pipelines. 1 provides an overview of these elements, with notes on specific aspects of production in the Rocky Mountains. 1 Infrastructure Components, Cost Items, and Issues Specific to the Rocky Mountains Infrastructure Component Water disposal Compression system Gathering system Processing facility Access to transmission pipelines Cost Items Specific Issues Costs for disposal; Relatively high water flowlines, reproduction, especially injection well coalbed methane Compression systems, Coalbed methane produced fuel consumption at low pressure Flowlines, gathering Less economies of scale lines through fewer existing systems; lower flow rates per well; worse terrain conditions Dehydration, CO2, N2 More contaminants in nonconventional resources; fewer economies of scale through terrain conditions Transmission charges Long distance to markets + fuel consumption wellhead and infrastructure cost elements can be ambiguous.

Nonetheless, nonconventional resource development remains substantially more expensive than conventional resource development. Recommendations Existing approaches were developed for the purposes of making assessments on a national scale; they do not necessarily contain the resolution needed to properly address many of the specific issues related to the individual basins in the Rockies. In updating evaluations of the economically recoverable resource in the Intermountain West, improvements can be made to the standard economic models to help tailor our economic evaluation to account for some of the characteristics of the region and to improve the accuracy of economic modeling of resource development.

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