The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that the Levant Basin Province, in the Eastern Mediterranean region, holds 122 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas.

They say the province holds more natural gas resources than any region so far assessed in the United States. Some natural gas accumulations in the United States include the Southwestern Wyoming Province with an estimated 85 tcf, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Province with 73 tcf, and the Appalachian Basin Province of the eastern United States and the Western Gulf Basin Province of Texas and Louisiana, each with 70 tcf.

Natural gas is used for a variety of purposes, primarily for electricity generation, industrial, residential, and commercial sectors.

Worldwide consumption and production of natural gas was 110 tcf in 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration. The three largest consuming countries were the United States with 23 tcf, Russia with 17 tcf, and Iran with 4 tcf of natural gas per year in 2008.

This is a map of the Eastern Mediterranean region showing the area included in the USGS Levant Basin Province assessment.

(Photo Credit: US Geological Survey)

Russia's West Siberian Basin is another large natural gas province with an estimated 643 tcf. The Middle East and North Africa region also has several large provinces, which include the Rub Al Khali Basin with 426 tcf, the Greater Ghawar Uplift with 227 tcf, and the Zagros Fold Belt with 212 tcf.

All of these estimates are mean estimates of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas resources. Technically recoverable resources are those producible using currently available technology and industry practices.

The Levant Basin Province also holds an estimated 1.7 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil. Worldwide consumption of petroleum was about 31 billion barrels in 2008.

"This assessment furthers our understanding of the world's energy potential, helping inform policy and decision makers in making decisions about future energy supplies," said USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce.