Oil, natural gas proved reserves set new records in 2017

Published on December 05, 2018 by Douglas Clark

© Shutterstock

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves report revealed proved reserves of both crude oil and natural gas established new records in 2017.

Proved reserves are defined as 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.

Officials attributed the record results to high prices and continued development of shale and tight resources, noting proved reserves of the crude oil increased 19.5 percent from the end of 2016, reaching 39.2 billion barrels and surpassing the previous peak level of 39.0 billion barrels set in 1970.

Proved reserves of natural gas increased 36.1 percent from the end of 2016, officials said, to reach 464.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2017, surpassing the previous record of 388.8 Tcf set in 2014.

According to the report, Texas and New Mexico had the most substantial net increases in proved reserves of crude oil last year, adding 3.1 billion and 1.0 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves, respectively.

The increases were primarily the result of increased crude oil prices and development in the Permian Basin, particularly in the stacked oil-bearing formations of the Spraberry Trend and the Wolfcamp / Bone Spring shale play.