Materials data are used in all aspects of the development of natural gas resources. Unconventional gas resources require special attention in their development and may benefit from heuristic assessments of the materials data, geological site conditions, and the knowledge base accumulated from previous unconventional site developments. Opportunities for using expert systems in the development of unconventional natural gas resources are discussed. A brief introduction to expert systems is provided in a context that emphasizes the practical nature of their service. The discussion then focuses on the development of unconventional gas reserves. Whenever possible, the likelihood of success in constructing useful expert systems for gas resource development is indicated by comparisons to existing expert systems that perform comparable functions in other industries. Significant opportunities are found for applications to site assessment, the interpretation of well log data, and the monitoring and optimization of gas processing in small-scale recovery operations.
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