3711. WILLIAMS, C. R. Gas Development and Trends in South Texas. Oil Gas Jour., vol. 45, No. 36, 1947, p. 68, 71; Petrol. Eng., vol. 18, No. 4, 1947, pp. 174, 176.
Abridged version of a paper presented before the Texas Section American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. Of the estimated natural-gas reserves of the United States of approximately 150 trillion cu. ft., South Texas alone has 25-30 trillion cu. ft. and the State of Texas about 58% of the total reserves. The potential supply is increasing annually through new discoveries, and it is probable that gas will continue to maintain a reserve ratio substantially in excess of consumption, which averaged approximately 2¾ trillion cu. ft. before the war and 4½ trillion cu. ft. at the close. Technical development and expansion of the Fischer-Tropsch process into actual commercial operation in Brownsville, Tex., indicate that natural gas may be worth $0.08-$0.12 per 1,000 cu. ft. for the manufacture of liquid fuels, although the ultimate realization of such a price will require accessibility to adequate gas reserves to afford a long-time operation and will depend largely on the duplication of small-scale results in larger commercial plants. Another factor influencing the value of natural gas is the proposed conversion of coal at the mines into synthetic natural gas having a heat value of approximately 1,000 B.t.u. per cu. ft. at a cost of $0.16-$0.20 per 1,000 cu. ft. Completion of such developments and the resulting competition in the transportation of gas from the Texas area will not justify a very high price at the wells, therefore, it would appear that the ultimate future price of natural gas will depend on its successful utilization by the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of gasoline rather than by its export for industrial fuel.