Assessing Gas and Oil Resources in the Intermountain West: Review of Methods and Framework For a New Approach
Jan 1, 2002
|PDF file||0.1 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
The availability of gas and oil resources in the Intermountain Western United States has recently become the subject of increasing debate. Several studies have concluded that substantial energy resources are inaccessible because of legally restricted access to federal lands. The authors propose that comprehensive resource assessment focus not on land access restrictions but on determining what resources are recoverable considering (1) wellhead costs (accounting for costs specific to the region, such as the high abundance of nonconventional gas); (2) infrastructure costs, such as the need for constructing additional pipelines; and (3) potential environmental impacts of exploration and production: how much resource is on lands that are highly vulnerable to environmental disruption and how much is on lands where such activity could have a lower impact. The resource that satisfies these criteria represents the amount that is likely to actually be produced and is termed the "viable resource." A better estimate of the viable resource is necessary before policymakers can determine whether to change the status of federal lands available for exploration.
The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND Science and Technology.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Issue paper series. The issue paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003 that contained early data analysis, an informed perspective on a topic, or a discussion of research directions, not necessarily based on published research. The issue paper was meant to be a vehicle for quick dissemination intended to stimulate discussion in a policy community.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.