End of Year 2007 U.S. Natural Gas Proved Reserves Set A New Record; U.S. Proved Oil Reserves Also Grew In 2007

October 17, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC – October 15, 2008 – Record-high additions to U.S. dry natural gas proved reserves in 2007 totaled 46.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), more than double the 19.5 Tcf of dry natural gas actually produced in the United States during the year, according to information released today by the Energy Information Administration. As a result, total proved reserves of dry natural gas in the United States at the end of 2007 rose to 237.7 Tcf, 13 percent
above the year-end 2006 level and the highest level in the 31 years EIA has published annual reserves data. 

For the first time in four years, U.S. proved oil reserves increased during 2007, as proved reserve additions of 2.0 billion barrels exceeded production of 1.7 billion barrels. Year-end proved reserves in 2007 stood at 21.3 billion barrels, nearly two percent higher than at the end of 2006.

The dry natural gas reserve additions mostly reflected the rapid development of unconventional gas resources including shale, coalbed methane, and tight low- permeability formations. Many of these unconventional resources are now economic to develop because of the application of advanced technologies like horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing.  Shale proved reserves, in particular, increased 50 percent in 2007 and now account for about 9 percent of the U.S. total.

Regionally, Texas had the nation’s largest increase in year-end dry natural gas proved reserves in 2007, amounting to a 17 percent gain (10.3 Tcf). Major increases in year-end proved reserves in the Rocky Mountain States included a 26 percent (6.2 Tcf) increase in Wyoming, a 27 percent (4.7 Tcf) increase in Colorado, and a 24 percent (1.2 Tcf) increase in Utah.  Proved reserves declined in two major gas-producing regions including a 6 percent decline in the
Gulf of Mexico Federal Offshore (1.0 Tcf) and a 4 percent decline in New Mexico (0.7 Tcf).

The largest increase of year-end crude oil proved reserves came from Alaska, growing 7 percent over 2006 (284 million barrels), followed closely by Texas with a year-end increase in proved reserves of 5 percent (251 million barrels). Alaska’s increase included 45 million barrels of new field discoveries. Due to rapid development of unconventional oil resources associated with the Bakken Formation, North Dakota had the third largest year-end increase in crude oil
proved reserves, up 17 percent from 2006 (70 million barrels).

Advance Summary: U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves 2007 Annual Report is available on the EIA website at: