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Net Resource Assessment

Net Resource Assessment

Funding: USGS/ SILPE

Participants: Richard Bernknopf, Steven Faulkner, David Brookshire, Craig Broadbent, Don Gautier, David Soller

Energy and mineral resource assessments are a well-known core capability of the USGS. The assessments are typically probabilistic estimates of yet-to-find or yet-to-develop volumes of geologically based commodities such as undiscovered conventional oil, undeveloped shale gas, or available coal resources. Most energy assessments are one-parameter models, in which results are expressed as probability density functions on technically recoverable resource volumes. However, in certain circumstances the assessments can be extended from one-parameter estimates to two-parameter appraisals of resource/cost or resource/supply functions by addition of engineering, fiscal, and financial evaluations.

A Net Resource Assessment (NetRA) involves the estimation of capacity (quantity), cost and uncertainty of supplying market commodities such as oil, gas, and minerals, and ecosystem services such as potable water, indigenous biota, and carbon capture. The focus of the NetRA is the tradeoff between the production of the market commodities and their impacts on the ecosystem services that are co-located with the economic development. The NetRA is an integrated assessment approach to the assessment of market and nonmarketnatural resources that is aligned with the USGS responsibility for conducting national assessments. Such analyses require (1) mutual agreement among science discipline specialists to test the method, (2) estimation of technically available quantities of the resources, (3) determination of resourcesproduction and costs, (4) evaluation of the net present value of resources for market goods, (5) evaluation of the production of ecosystem services and their capacities, and (6) development of a quantitative method for estimating thetotal economic value (TEV) ofthe joint output of market goods and ecosystem services as an outcome of a regional land use. The quantification of all the natural resources in a region providesan estimate of the development of the societal impacts of both economic development and the changes to existing ecosystem services.


Copyright 2012