Higher oil and natural gas prices in 2018 raised the proved reserves of oil and gas in the United States to new all-time highs last year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its new annual report.
Oil and natural gas proved reserves beat the previous record from the previous year, when rising prices and continued shale resource development in 2017 helped push U.S. reserves to what was then record high volumes.
In 2018, U.S. proved reserves of crude oil jumped by 12 percent, from 39.2 billion barrels at the end of 2017 to 43.8 billion barrels at end-2018, for the new record in proved oil reserves, according to EIA estimates.
Proved reserves of natural gas rose by 9 percent, from 464.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) at end-2017 to 504.5 Tcf at year-end 2018, setting the new U.S. record for natural gas proved reserves.
In crude oil and lease condensate, producers in Texas added a total of 2.3 billion barrels of proved reserves. This was the biggest net increase of oil reserves in all U.S. states in 2018. Most reserves additions were made in the Wolfcamp/Bone Spring shale play in West Texas.
The Bone Spring formation has been one of the most prolific shale plays in the Permian in recent years and will continue to drive the Permian basin’s shale production growth, the EIA said earlier this month.
New Mexico saw the second-biggest increase in crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves, adding a net 750 million barrels, also thanks to the Wolfcamp/Bone Spring play in eastern New Mexico. The Bakken play in North Dakota had the third-largest net increase in proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate—422 million barrels.
In natural gas, Texas again led the net additions of proved reserves, with 22.9 Tcf, thanks to higher prices and the development of the Wolfcamp/Bone Spring play. Pennsylvania and New Mexico followed in net natural gas reserves additions, thanks to the Marcellus and the Wolfcamp/Bone Spring, respectively.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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