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Development of a Natural Gas Systems Analysis Model
Project Number

The goal of this effort is the development of the necessary analysis tools/models to determine potential increases in natural gas resource and reserves through the application of advanced production technologies. This effort extended the existing modeling capabilities (currently limited to tight sand formations/hydraulic fracturing only) to include conventional, multiple porosity, or absorbed gas formations and include additional advanced drilling and stimulation technologies.


ICF Consulting Inc.
Advanced Resources International

Fairfax, Virginia 22031
Arlington, Virginia 22203


The objective of this effort was to develop a Gas Systems Analysis Model (GSAM) capable of examining the technical and economical impacts of current and advanced extraction technologies, such as drilling, completion, gas processing and stimulation, on supply and demand in the U.S. For additional sources, distribution, storage, and utilization system components, the model will have the capability to link with available computer models capable of analyzing these components. GSAM will be compatible with existing gas databases and have the flexibility to accommodate future gas databases. GSAM will include an internal database to provide default values for those parameters not available in a given database. GSAM will allow the analysis of changes in regulatory, environmental, and tax policies on natural gas supply and demand. GSAM will have a risk analysis capability for all system component areas. Lastly, GSAM will provide a graphics capability for the analysis of all results while providing output format flexibility for post-processing with commonly available graphics or spreadsheet software.


The modular design of GSAM provides for maximum flexibility in analyses in estimating future supply, demand, and market conditions for natural gas. The consistent evaluation of individual reservoirs and technology performance based on unique rock and fluid properties, as well as location factors, significantly enhance the model’s capabilities in assessing reservoir performance. Decision making in exploration and production is consistent from an operator’s perspective, leading the model to a robust market-based simulation of producer choice. Demand, by region, season, and sector, is calculated in sufficient detail to allow for major or minor occurrences in the downstream market. The upstream and downstream integration creates realistic regional prices, balancing supply and demand utilizing a transportation and storage network. The model, by producing a market-based, fully integrated assessment of natural gas potential in North America, is a unique tool for analyzing both business and public policy issues.

Accomplishments (most recent listed first)

DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has developed a comprehensive, full-market assessment tool to assist in research and development (R&D) and policy planning. The Gas Systems Analysis Model (GSAM) evaluates and quantifies the direct impacts of potential technology improvements due to R&D, including unique combinations of enhanced reservoir performance (for specific reservoir conditions), decreased investments or operating costs (for specific site or operator characteristics), and reduced exploration and development risk (in defined basins, regions, or resource types) for individual reservoirs nationwide. In addition, GSAM can simulate a variety of diverse policy alternatives, including specific tax, environmental, and regulatory structures, directly estimating their economic implications for future domestic gas exploration and production (E&P) operations. The detailed, quantitative assessments of technology impacts produced by GSAM are based on full market impacts, reservoir to burnertip. Key technology improvements and public policy initiatives can be evaluated to determine regional and national impacts on gas production, end-use demand, various industry investment activities, and jobs, as well as the resulting natural gas prices, at the wellhead, at various city-gates, and by region and end-use sector. As currently structured, GSAM provides technology, policy, and environmental impact assessments needed to focus and coordinate public and private R&D activities. GSAM provides DOE decision-makers and the natural gas industry with key details on the market impacts of alternative technologies and policies. A better understanding of the direct implications of policy and programmatic alternatives will help DOE to significantly and directly increase the effectiveness and value of its Natural Gas Program.

Current Status

Project has been completed.

Project Start
Project End
DOE Contribution


Performer Contribution


Contact Information

NETL - Anthony Zammerilli (304-285-4641 or 
ICF Consulting Inc. - (703-934-3016)

Additional Information

Final Report [PDF-5460KB] - Includes user's guide and programmer's guide
GSAM Overview [PDF-68KB]