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Natural Gas in the United States


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The U.S. Energy Information Administration provides information on proven reserves for natural gas in the United States and breaks the reserves in five different categories of natural gas. Not all proven reserves are able to be extracted effectively, but knowing the amount of natural gas can provide insight into why natural gas is a viable option in the short- and mid- term. The five different categories are:

Dry Natural Gas

Wet Natural Gas

Wet Nonassociated Natural Gas

Wet Associated – Dissolved Natural Gas

Natural Gas Liquids

The two most significant sources of natural gas are Dry Natural Gas and Wet Natural Gas; both are more recoverable than the Wet Nonassociated, Wet Associated, and Natural gas liquids since the latter three are not associated with significant quantities of crude oil. Being close to or contained within a deposit of crude oil is a more attractive option to energy explorers.

Below is a short description of the two attractive types of natural gas.

Dry Natural Gas

Dry natural gas is the natural gas recovered when all liquefiable hydrocarbons and all gaseous non-hydrocarbons have been removed. Deposits of dry natural gas are almost 100% methane and takes very little processing to become consumer-grade fuel. The amount of proven reserves of dry natural gas has grown from 204 trillion cubic ft to 304 trillion cubic ft from 2005 to 2010.

Wet Natural Gas

Wet natural gas is methane that is mixed with liquid natural gasses like ethane and butane. Wet natural gas takes more processing than dry natural gas to separate the different molecules; however the ethane and butane can be sold at higher prices compared to methane, effective subsidizing the prices to produce methane. The amount of proven reserves of wet natural gas is 317 trillion cubic feet

The United State used about 2.5 trillion cubic ft of natural gas in 2012. The AGA estimates that the United States has about 300 trillion cubic ft of recoverable natural gas and also estimates that the US has about 100 years worth of energy. Companies are developing both natural gas vehicles and new technology to use and extract the domestic energy source; both show potential for growth over the next five to ten years

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