(EnergyAsia, November 24 2015, Tuesday) — Thanks to the adoption of fracking technology, the US boosted its oil reserves to a 42-year high of 39 billion barrels and natural gas to an all-time high of 388.8 trillion cubic feet (11 trillion cubic metres) at the end of 2014.
But, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said it expects these figures to decline this year as sustained low oil and gas prices have forced the industry to curtail drilling that will stop it from adding to the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves.
In a statement, the EIA said US crude oil proved reserves rose by 9% in 2014 for the sixth year in a row with a net addition of 3.4 billion barrels. The nation’s natural gas proved reserves increased 10% to reach a record 388.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2014.
At the state level, Texas had the largest increase in proved reserves, 2,054 million barrels (60% of the nation’s total net increase) in 2014. The bulk of its new oil reserves were added in the Texas portion of the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale play.
The EIA said North Dakota had the second-largest increase—a net gain of 362 million barrels—most of which were added in the Bakken tight oil play of the Williston Basin.
Pennsylvania added 10.4 tcf of natural gas proved reserves, the largest net increase for any state in 2014, driven by continued development of the Marcellus Shale play. Texas added 8 tcf of natural gas proved reserves, mostly from the Eagle Ford Shale play and natural gas associated with the state’s gain in oil reserves in the Permian Basin. Natural gas from shale formations was 51% of the US total of natural gas proved reserves in 2014.
The EIA said US production of crude oil and condensate rose by about 17% from 7.4 to 8.7 million b/d last year, while natural gas output increased six percent from approximately 73 to 77 billion cubic feet per day.
In its footnote, the EIA said proved reserves are those volumes of oil and natural gas that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions.