The Economic Potentials of Natural Gas Production Stimulation by Nuclear Explosions
MATHEMATICA INC PRINCETON NJ
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The present report describes the technical and economic potentials of gas stimulation by nuclear explosives. It is part of a larger study of Plowshare whose principal aim is to analyze, on the basis of all available technological information, the economic consequences which various Plowshare projects would entail. The present report shows that there exists a sufficiently firm body of information which will have to be enlarged and improved by experiments specifically related to gas stimulation to confirm the statement that gas stimulation can become one of the first technically and economically feasible applications of the peaceful uses of nuclear explosives. From this study it appears that gas stimulation can be applied with profit in existing tight gas fields which can not be exploited with conventional techniques. The study further states that if the existing body of information is confirmed, the peaceful application of nuclear explosives would increase the United States recoverable natural gas resources by amounts greatly in excess of known supplies. Specifically, it appears that the increase would extend the present supply of gas by adding a supply of at least 18 years. The true figure might in fact exceed 55 years additional supplies, even allowing for a substantial annual increase in demand by the United States economy.