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Abundant Shale Gas Resources: Long-Term Implications for U.S. Natural Gas Markets


  • Brown, Stephen P.A.

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Krupnick, Alan

    () (Resources for the Future)


According to recent assessments, the United States has considerably more recoverable natural gas in shale formations than was previously thought. Such a development raises expectations that U.S. energy consumption will shift toward natural gas. To examine how the apparent abundance of natural gas and projected growth of its use might affect natural gas prices, production, and consumption, we use NEMS-RFF to model a number of scenarios—reflecting different perspectives on natural gas availability, the availability of competing resources, demand for natural gas, and climate policy—through 2030. We find that more abundant shale gas resources create an environment in which natural gas prices are likely to remain attractive to consumers—even as policy advances additional uses of natural gas to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and bolster energy security.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Stephen P.A. & Krupnick, Alan, 2010. "Abundant Shale Gas Resources: Long-Term Implications for U.S. Natural Gas Markets," Discussion Papers dp-10-41, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-41

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geoffrey Rothwell, 2010. "New U.S. Nuclear Generation: 2010-2030," Discussion Papers 09-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles F. Mason & Lucija A. Muehlenbachs & Sheila M. Olmstead, 2015. "The Economics of Shale Gas Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 269-289, October.
    2. Linn, Joshua & Muehlenbachs, Lucija, 2018. "The heterogeneous impacts of low natural gas prices on consumers and the environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 1-28.
    3. Jakub Boratyński, 2015. "Ekonomiczne skutki eksploatacji gazu łupkowego," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 1, pages 55-82.
    4. Alexopoulos, Thomas A., 2017. "The growing importance of natural gas as a predictor for retail electricity prices in US," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 219-233.
    5. Geng, Jiang-Bo & Ji, Qiang & Fan, Ying, 2016. "The impact of the North American shale gas revolution on regional natural gas markets: Evidence from the regime-switching model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 167-178.
    6. Tiwari, Aviral Kumar & Mukherjee, Zinnia & Gupta, Rangan & Balcilar, Mehmet, 2019. "A wavelet analysis of the relationship between oil and natural gas prices," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 118-124.
    7. Catherine Hausman & Ryan Kellogg, 2015. "Welfare and Distributional Implications of Shale Gas," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 71-139.
    8. Sexton, Steven & Eyer, Jonathan, 2016. "Leveling the playing field of transportation fuels: Accounting for indirect emissions of natural gas," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 21-31.
    9. Brown, Stephen P.A., 2017. "Natural gas vs. oil in U.S. transportation: Will prices confer an advantage to natural gas?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 210-221.
    10. Wang, Qiang & Chen, Xi & Jha, Awadhesh N. & Rogers, Howard, 2014. "Natural gas from shale formation – The evolution, evidences and challenges of shale gas revolution in United States," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 1-28.
    11. Taheripour, Farzad & Tyner, Wallace E., 2014. "Shale oil and gas booms: Consequences for agricultural and biofuel industries," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170238, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    natural gas; shale; gas prices; climate policy; carbon dioxide emissions; energy security;

    JEL classification:

    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming


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