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Natural-Gas Potential Assessed in Eastern Mediterranean

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An estimated 122 trillion cubic feet (tcf) (mean estimate) of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas is present in the Levant Basin Province in the eastern Mediterranean region. "Technically recoverable" resources are defined as those producible by using currently available technology and industry practices.

Eastern Mediterranean region, showing area included in the USGS Levant Basin Province assessment.
Above: Eastern Mediterranean region, showing area included in the USGS Levant Basin Province assessment. [larger version]

This study is the first U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of the Levant Basin to identify its potentially extractable resources.

"The Levant Basin Province is comparable to some of the other large provinces around the world, and its gas resources are bigger than anything we have assessed in the United States," said USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce. "This assessment furthers our understanding of the world's energy potential, helping inform policy and decision makers about future energy supplies."

Natural gas is used for various purposes, primarily electricity generation in the industrial, residential, and commercial sectors.

USGS scientists examining Eocene sandstones and limestones in Wadi Degla, northern Egypt.
Above: USGS scientists examining Eocene sandstones and limestones in Wadi Degla, northern Egypt. This area was studied to understand the Levant Basin Province because both regions have similar rock formations. [larger version]

Worldwide consumption and production of natural gas was 110 tcf in 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration. The three countries with the largest annual natural-gas consumption in 2008 were the United States (23 tcf), Russia (17 tcf), and Iran (4 tcf).

Russia's West Siberian Basin is another large natural-gas province, with an estimated 643 tcf. The Middle East and North Africa region also has several large provinces, including the Rub Al Khali Basin (426 tcf), the Greater Ghawar Uplift (227 tcf), and the Zagros Fold Belt (212 tcf).

Some natural-gas accumulations in the United States include the Southwestern Wyoming Province with an estimated 85 tcf, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Province (73 tcf), and the Appalachian Basin Province of the eastern United States and the Western Gulf Basin Province of Texas and Louisiana (70 tcf each).

All of these estimates are mean estimates of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas resources. The Levant Basin Province also holds an estimated 1.7 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil. Worldwide consumption of petroleum in 2008 was about 31 billion barrels.

The USGS conducted this assessment as part of a program directed at estimating the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources of priority petroleum basins around the world. To learn more about this assessment, please read USGS Fact Sheet 2010-3014 at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2010/3014/ and visit the Energy Resources Program Web site at http://energy.usgs.gov/.

Related Web Sites
Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Levant Basin Province, Eastern Mediterranean
Energy Resources Program

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Fieldwork cover story:
USGS Responds to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

ResearchExtreme Storms Leave Coasts Vulnerable

Fish and Wildlife Face Risks as Climate Changes

Natural Gas Potential Assessed in Eastern Mediterranean

Outreach Open House in Florida

Meetings Vulnerability of Coasts to Sea-Level Rise

Awards Best Poster Award from Pacific Section AAPG

Publications May / June 2010 Publications

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