Natural Gas

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Balancing Natural Gas Policy –
Fueling the Demands of a Growing Economy

This multi-volume report responds to a request from the Secretary of Energy for the Council’s advice on the potential implications of new supplies, new technologies, new perceptions of risk, and other evolving market conditions that may affect the potential for natural gas demand, supplies, and delivery through 2025. The report provides insights on energy-market dynamics, including price volatility and future fuel choice, and an outlook on the longer-term sustainability of natural gas supplies. It also provides the Council’s advice on actions that can be taken by industry and government to increase the productivity and efficiency of North American natural gas markets and to ensure adequate and reliable supplies of energy for consumers.

The report analyzes natural gas demand, supply, and transmission in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The demand analysis provides an understanding of the economic and environmental determinants of natural gas consumption to estimate how the various sectors respond to different gas price regimes. The supply analysis develops a basin-by-basin supply picture, and examines potential new sources of supply such as liquefied natural gas and Arctic gas. The transmission portion of the report provides an extensive review of existing and planned infrastructure in North America emphasizing, among other things, the need to maintain the current infrastructure and to ensure its reliability.

Volume I, Summary of Findings and Recommendations, presents the NPC’s findings and recommendations supported by an overview of the data and analyses developed in the study. (View/download printed volume)

Volume II, Integrated Report, includes significantly more detailed discussions of the data and analyses. (View/download printed volume)

Volume III, Demand Task Group Report, presents the comprehensive sector-by-sector demand outlook developed by four subgroups: Power Generation, Industrial Utilization, Residential and Commercial, and Economics and Demographics. (View/download printed volume - 11.3 MB)

Volume IV, Supply Task Group Report, includes a basin-by-basin supply picture and analyzed new sources of supply developed by five subgroups: Resource, Technology, LNG, Arctic, and Environmental/Regulatory/Access. The entire LNG subgroup report is in volume V. (View/download printed volume - 3.3 MB)

Volume V, Transmission and Distribution Task Group Report and LNG Subgroup Report, contains an analysis of potential new infrastructure and the maintenance of existing infrastructure developed by three subgroups: Transmission, Distribution, and Storage. Also included in this volume is the report of the LNG Subgroup. (View/download printed volume - 13.6 MB)

Now available: Natural Gas CD-ROM – Principal Modeling Activities

The CD-ROM contains the input/output, on a regional basis, for the study’s principal modeling activities, as well as the digitized maps that were used in assessing the potential impact of conditions of approval for access to key Rocky Mountain resource areas. It also contains digital copies of the NPC’s five-volume report, and a copy of the presentation made to the NPC at its meeting on September 25, 2003.

Contents include:

Data files

  • Case Summary Spreadsheet
  • Case Data Sorted by Cases
  • Case Data Sorted by Data Type
  • Supply Documentation


  • Natural Gas Report: Volume I – Summary of Findings and Recommendations
  • Natural Gas Report: Volume II – Integrated Report
  • Natural Gas Report: Volume III – Demand Task Group Report
  • Natural Gas Report: Volume IV – Supply Task Group Report
  • Natural Gas Report: Volume V – Transmission and Distribution Task Group Report and LNG Subgroup Report
  • September 25 2003 Meeting Presentation and Discussion of the Report:
    • Meeting Presentation Text
    • Meeting Presentation Slides

A second CD, the Supplemental Model Data CD-ROM, is also available. This CD contains the input data developed by the NPC for use in the study’s supplemental modeling actitivites.

To order any of the above, download and return this 2003 Natural Gas Report order form.

Meeting the Challenges of the Nation’s Growing Natural Gas Demand (1999)

This three-volume report was prepared in response to a request from the Secretary of Energy to provide advice on the potential contribution of natural gas in meeting the nation’s future economic, energy, and environmental goals.  The primary focus of the study was to test supply and delivery systems against significantly increased demand.  The report provides extensive analysis of current and historical data and recommends focus and action on these critical factors:

  • Access to resources and rights-of-way
  • Continued technological advancements
  • Financial requirements for developing new supply and infrastructure
  • Availability of skilled workers
  • Expansion of the U.S. drilling fleet
  • Lead times for development
  • Changing customer needs.

Volume I, Summary Report, provides conclusions and recommendations on the potential contribution of natural gas in meeting the nation's growing demand for energy in the residential, commercial, industrial, and electric power generation sectors.  Also included are summaries of key findings from the study's three task groups: Demand, Supply, and Transmission & Distribution.

Click here to view/download a .pdf of Volume I.

Volume II, Task Group Reports, contains the results of the analyses conducted by the three task groups and it provides further supporting details for the conclusions, recommendations, and findings presented in Volume I. 

Click here to view/download a .pdf of Volume II. (17.3 MB)

Volume III, Appendices, includes output of the study’s computer modeling activities as well as various source and reference materials developed for or utilized by the task groups in the course of their analyses.  Enclosed with Volume III is a CD-ROM containing further model output on a regional basis.  The CD also contains digitized maps.  These maps were used in assessing a key critical factor --access to resources and rights-of-way-- and they provide a comprehensive inventory of acreage by land-use categories associated with related USGS gas plays for the several key Rocky Mountain resource areas analyzed in the NPC study.

Click here to view/download a .pdf of Volume III. (23.7 MB)

To order any of the above, download and return this 1999 Natural Gas Report order form.

The Potential for Natural Gas
in the United States

  • Executive Summary separately publishes the key findings and recommendations of the overall study as reported in Volume I.
  • Volume I, Summary, presents the overall findings and recommendations of the NPC regarding natural gas along with the methodology used in conducting the study. This volume also contains summaries of Volumes II-V, the reports of the four task groups: source and supply, demand and distribution, transmission and storage, and regulatory and policy issues.
  • Volume II, Source and Supply, examines in detail the long-term economic natural gas supply potential for the U.S. market. Specifically addressed are the recoverable resource base and delivery potential for conventional and nonconventional gas in the United States as well as import alternatives. Additionally, the impact of supply technology and environmental compliance costs on supply availability is analyzed and potential constraints/opportunities for gas supply are discussed.
  • Volume III, Demand and Distribution, assesses opportunities in the primary natural gas markets: residential and commercial, industrial, electric generation, and natural gas vehicles. This volume identifies and analyzes major growth opportunities as well as the constraints inhibiting growth, and provides a summary assessment of market and economic conditions in ten U.S. regions (the full regional reports are available separately).
  • Volume IV, Transmission and Storage, analyzes the capability of the U.S. transmission and storage system to assist in expanding the use of natural gas in the United States. This volume discusses in detail and makes recommendations concerning the issues that are critical to eliminating or mitigating various constraints on the transmission and storage system.
  • Volume V, Regulatory and Policy Issues, discusses how the regulatory environment affects the natural gas industry as well as the cultural and psychological issues that affect the operations of natural gas markets. Extensive focus group research is discussed and historical background on federal and state regulations is provided. Additionally this volume explains the Council's new recommended definition of public interest.
  • Volume VI, Model Documentation and Results, provides a description of the EEA Energy Overview Model and DRI Macroeconomic and World Oil Models that were used in the study as well as the NPC’s input assumptions for these models and detailed model results.

Executive Summary
(42 pages) Price: $ 5.00

Click here to view/download a .pdf of the report (7.3 MB).

Volume I - Summary
(250 pages) Price: $ 50.00

Click here to view/download a .pdf of the report (28.4 MB).

Volume II - Source and Supply
(670 pages) Price: $ 75.00

Click here to view/download a .pdf of the report (38.1 MB).

Volume III - Demand and Distribution
(284 pages) Price: $ 50.00

Click here to view/download a .pdf of the report (21.3 MB).

Volume IV - Transmission and Storage
(274 pages) Price: $ 50.00

Click here to view/download a .pdf of the report (22.6 MB).

Volume V - Regulatory and Policy Issues
(226 pages) Price: $ 50.00

Click here to view/download a .pdf of the report (12 MB).

Volume VI - Model Documentation and Results
(356 pages) Price: $ 50.00

Click here to view/download a .pdf of the report (19.6 MB).

Printed report: Boxed set of all of the above
(2,102 pages) Price: $300.00

Unconventional Gas Sources (1980)

The report consists of five volumes: Volume I - Executive Summary; Volume II - Coal Seams; Volume III - Devonian Shale; Volume IV - Geopressured Brines; Volume V - Tight Gas Reservoirs.

For each gas source, reserve additions and producing rates are calculated at five gas prices, three rates of return, and at least two levels of technology. The volumes also include an overview of the resource, an analysis of the technological state of the art, an examination of constraints or uncertainties that may impede development or production, and a comparison of the NPC findings with those of other studies on the resource.

Printed report:

Volume I - Executive Summary
(56 pages) Price: $ 2.50

Volume II - Coal Seams
(128 pages) Price: $15.00

Volume III - Devonian Shale
(252 pages) Price: $20.00

Volume IV - Geopressured Brines
(212 pages) Price: $20.00

Volume V - Tight Gas Reservoirs
Part I - Resource Assessment
(492 pages) Price: $30.00
Part II - Basin Analyses
(800 pages) Price: $40.00

Download .pdf version:

Click here to view/download Interim Summary (5.9 MB)

Click here to view/download Volume I - Executive Summary (7 MB)

Click here to view/download Volume II - Coal Seams (16.8 MB)

Click here to view/download Volume III - Devonian Shale (45.8 MB)

Click here to view/download Volume IV - Geopressured Brines (33.8 MB)

Click here to view/download Volume V, Part 1 - Tight Gas Reservoirs (93.4 MB)

Click here to view/download Volume V, Part 2 - Tight Gas Reservoirs (91.1 MB)

Revised 09/18/2014