Mancos Shale

US surveys massive gas formation


DENVER, June 9, 2016 – The Mancos Shale formation in Colorado holds 40 times more natural gas than previous estimates, the US Geological Survey said in a press release on Wednesday.


The depository, which sits in the Piceance Basin, now has a forecasted capacity of 1.88 tcm (66.3 tcf), up from 45.3 bcm (1.6 tcf) in 2003. It is also believed that the formation contains 74 million barrels of oil and 45 million barrels of NGL.

The petroleum should be recoverable with modern drilling techniques, such as horizontal drilling and fracking. The site already has some of the necessary infrastructure for operations, such as pipelines and processing plants from previous drilling.

The new survey means that Piceance Basin is the second-largest formation in terms of natural gas reserves behind the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, which has reserves of 2.38 tcm (84 tcf).