Impacts of Technology on the Global Gas Resource Base: Proceedings of the Global Gas Resources Workshop

There was a consensus that technology has in the past reduced, and will continue in the future to reduce, exploration and production costs. In the United States, for example, rigorous application of technology has resulted in the last decade or so in essentially flat supply cost projections. The relatively stable supply costs are due to technology and its impact in reducing production costs (William L. Fisher, "The U.S. Experience in Natural Gas: Revitalization of a Resource Base Thought Exhausted, this volume). It was also agreed that technology will play a key role in Europe in reducing production costs to allow European gas to remain competitive with imports of gas from the former Soviet Union and Algeria. Another point of consensus was that natural gas technology cannot be examined in isolation. Advances in the technologies of other fuels can also be expected. If natural gas is to provide an increasing share of the total fuel mix worldwide, further advances in natural gas technology must be pursued to establish and maintain a competitive position for natural gas. Advanced technology cannot be assumed or taken for granted; it must be aggressively developed and incorporated into strategic planning in the private and public sectors. Research has to be pursued and the resulting advances in technology development must be applied. If research is not pursued and technology is not applied, the benefits of this increased knowledge are not captured and fully realized (Gustavo Inciarte, "Natural Gas Technology: A Context for the 21st Century," this volume). The discussions showed that technology and research methods must be refined to adapt to the specific geologic and geographic conditions of each country. Technology must be adapted to accommodate widely divergent conditions, from the harsh, cold climate of Siberia in Russia and the Arctic in Canada to the deserts of China and Africa. Increased international cooperation in the exchange of information, ideas, and technology transfer will facilitate the adaptation of technology to meet the specific requirements of countries around the world. Results of the assessment indicate that, in all seven regions, the impact of technology will be positive and will increase the resource base. Therefore, the model of natural gas as a limited or diminishing resource is not an appropriate one to guide policy decisions and strategic planning. For the foreseeable future, countries should not limit the use of natural gas because of a concern for resource exhaustion. However, although the global natural gas resource base is huge, the conversion of this resource into producible reserves cannot be assumed. Substantial investment in further advances in natural gas exploration and production technology and developments in other areas such as transportation infrastructure will have to occur before this resource will be fully realized.
Carol L. Ruthven

Ruthven, C. L., editor, 1994, Impacts of Technology on the Global Gas Resource Base: Proceedings of the Global Gas Resources Workshop: The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, Report of Investigations No. 223, 219 p.

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The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology
Report of Investigation