AT&T, GM & CNG

“The technically recoverable unproved shale gas resource is 827 trillion cubic feet (as of January 1, 2009) in the AEO2011 Reference case, 480 trillion cubic feet larger than in the Annual Energy Outlook 2010 (AEO2010) Reference case, reflecting additional information that has become available with more drilling activity in new and existing shale plays.

“The technically recoverable unproved shale gas resource is 827 trillion cubic feet (as of January 1, 2009) in the AEO2011 Reference case, 480 trillion cubic feet larger than in the Annual Energy Outlook 2010 (AEO2010) Reference case, reflecting additional information that has become available with more drilling activity in new and existing shale plays. The larger resource leads to about double the shale gas production and over 20 percent higher total lower 48 natural gas production in 2035, with lower natural gas prices than was projected in the AEO2010 Reference case.”—or so it says in the executive summary to the early release overview of Annual Energy Output 2011 (AEO2011), written by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which, evidently indicates, there is a significant amount of natural gas in the United States. As shown here:

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Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Which is probably a good thing. Because there may be the proliferation of vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), if not driven by consumers, certainly by fleet.

Case in point: General Motors announced today that it is delivering to AT&T 101 Chevrolet Express Cargo 2500 vans that run on CNG. Not only does this reduce the use of imported oil, but it also means fewer emissions that gasoline- or diesel-powered vans.

Vans are a sensible vehicle for CNG conversion because the cylinders needed to contain the gas take up a good bit of space, as indicated here:

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The fuel tank capacity for the Express vans ranges from 15.8 to 23 gasoline-equivalent gallons.

And you need reasonably sized tanks because the gasoline equivalent fuel economy for the CNG vans is 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway.