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Open-File Report 2013–1044

Role of Stranded Gas in Increasing Global Gas Supplies

By Emil D. Attanasi and Philip A. Freeman

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (28.9 MB)Abstract

This report synthesizes the findings of three regional studies in order to evaluate, at the global scale, the contribution that stranded gas resources can make to global natural gas supplies. Stranded gas, as defined for this study, is natural gas in discovered conventional gas and oil fields that is currently not commercially producible for either physical or economic reasons. The regional studies evaluated the cost of bringing the large volumes of undeveloped gas in stranded gas fields to selected markets. In particular, stranded gas fields of selected Atlantic Basin countries, north Africa, Russia, and central Asia are screened to determine whether the volumes are sufficient to meet Europe’s increasing demand for gas imports. Stranded gas fields in Russia, central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australia are also screened to estimate development, production, and transport costs and corresponding gas volumes that could be supplied to Asian markets in China, India, Japan, and South Korea.

The data and cost analysis presented here suggest that for the European market and the markets examined in Asia, the development of stranded gas provides a way to meet projected gas import demands for the 2020-to-2040 period. Although this is a reconnaissance-type appraisal, it is based on volumes of gas that are associated with individual identified fields. Individual field data were carefully examined. Some fields were not evaluated because current technology was insufficient or it appeared the gas was likely to be held off the export market. Most of the evaluated stranded gas can be produced and delivered to markets at costs comparable to historical prices. Moreover, the associated volumes of gas are sufficient to provide an interim supply while additional technologies are developed to unlock gas diffused in shale and hydrates or while countries transition to making a greater use of renewable energy sources.

First posted April 18, 2013

For additional information contact:
Emil Attanasi
Telephone: 703-648-6129


Director, Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 956
Reston, Virginia 20192
Telephone: 703-648-6401
Fax: 703-648-6419

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Suggested citation:

Attanasi, E.D., and Freeman, P.A., 2013, Role of stranded gas in increasing global gas supplies: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013–1044, 57 p., (Available only online.)




Estimates of Stranded Gas outside North America

Structure of Global Natural Gas Markets

Potential Additions to Supply from Development of Stranded Gas

Landed Costs of Stranded Gas for Europe’s Markets

Landed Costs of Stranded Gas for Asia’s Markets

Conclusions and Implications


References Cited

Appendix 1. Stranded Gas Resources in the Middle East

Appendix 2. Field Development, Production, and Transportation Cost Estimates

Appendix 3. Estimation of Liquefaction Cost and the Transportation Costs of Liquefied Natural Gas

Appendix 4. Countries in Each Region

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