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The energy crisis in the United States has been making headlines for more than 2 years. Most energy materials are expected to be in short supply, but the shortage of natural gas is recognized as being most critical. Liquefied natural gas and coal gas will supply a part of the demand but most of the new gas required must result from domestic drilling. An all out effort must be made to discover and develop the 1,178 trillion cu ft of gas estimated by the Potential Gas Committee to remain undiscovered in the United States. Cost of finding and developing this new gas might well be in the same range as the estimated cost of LNG and coal gas.
Compensation for today's higher risks and higher costs must be provided by incentives in the form of tax credits and higher wellhead prices. A graduated wildcat-well tax credit, similar to the now repealed investment tax credit, may be the way to encourage the drilling of the higher risk new-field wildcats required to discover the gas that the country will require during the next 2 decades.
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