The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has lowered its estimates of U.S. natural gas resources. The EIA’s 2012 estimate for total U.S. natural gas is 482 trillion cubic feet, down more than 40% from its 2011 estimate of 827 tcf. [New York Times]

Because of increased gas production throughout the U.S., EIA had more data available in making its 2012 estimates. For example, with additional data from increased production throughout the Marcellus shale – a geological formation stretching beneath West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York – EIA adjusted its estimates for the Marcellus to 141 tcf, down nearly 66% from 410 tcf in its previous report. The U.S. Geological Survey last year estimated that the Marcellus has 84 tcf of gas.

What impact could these updated estimates have on U.S. policy? On the natural gas market? On the broader energy sector? How does this uncertainty around U.S. gas holdings impact your assumptions about America’s energy future?