Opinion

U.S. Proved Reserves of Natural Gas Increase 5%, Oil Reserves Remain Level at Year-End 2016


U.S. proved reserves of natural gas increase 5%, oil reserves remain level at year-end 2016

  • U.S. proved reserves of natural gas increased 5% in 2016, compared with a 17% decline in 2015
  • U.S. proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate remained at 35.2 billion barrels in 2016

The United States had 341.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas proved reserves as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 5% from 2015, according to U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2016, released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves remained at 35.2 billion barrels at year-end 2016 (a slight net decline of 17 million barrels).

 Crude oil and lease condensate
billion barrels
Natural gas
trillion cubic feet
2015 U.S. proved reserves35.23324.30
Net change to U.S. proved reserves-0.02+6.83
2016 U.S. proved reserves35.21341.11
Percentage change0.0%+5.2%

Pennsylvania had the largest net increase in natural gas proved reserves of all states in 2016, adding 6.1 Tcf of natural gas proved reserves in the Marcellus Shale play in the Appalachian Basin. The share of natural gas proved reserves from shale compared with total natural gas increased from 54% in 2015 to 62% in 2016.

Texas had the largest net increase in proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate of all states in 2016, adding 941 million barrels of proved crude oil and lease condensate reserves, mostly from development in the Permian Basin. Operators drilled and completed long, horizontal wells into the stacked oil-bearing formations of the Spraberry Trend and the Wolfcamp Shale.

In 2016, U.S. production of crude oil and lease condensate decreased by 6% from 2015, and U.S. production of total natural gas decreased by 1%.

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. U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2016 is available at: http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilnaturalgasreserves.


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eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilnaturalgasreserves.

natural gasReservesUnited StatesUSEIAEnergy Information Administration EIA

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