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From the US EIA: Domestic reserves of oil and natural gas increased significantly in 2009

Professor Mark J. Perry
Carpe Diem, a blog for economics and finance

December 13, 2010

From the summary of the EIA report released last month on US crude oil and natural gas reserves for 2009:

"Domestic proved reserves of oil and natural gas increased significantly in 2009. U.S. natural gas proved reserves increased by 11 percent in 2009 to 284 trillion cubic feet. This is their highest level since 1971, despite an approximate one-third decline in the prices used to assess economic viability for 2009 reserves as compared to the prices used in 2008. U.S. crude oil plus lease condensate proved reserves rose 9 percent to 22.3 billion barrels in 2009, regaining 1.8 billion barrels of the 2.3 billion barrel decline in 2008. These increases demonstrate the possibility of an expanding role for domestic natural gas and crude oil in meeting both current and projected U.S. energy demands."

The onshore Lower 48 States drove the overall increase in proved reserves. Technologies used to increase shale gas production have also boosted oil reserves, especially from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana. North Dakota recorded especially significant gains, up 83 percent over 2008, and now ranks behind only Texas, Alaska, California, and the Gulf of Mexico in proved reserves."

Related news:

North Dakota pumped another record amount of oil in the month of October, producing more than 10 million barrels in a single month for the third month in a row and beating the previous record set in September by 368,000 barrels. Compared to October of last year, North Dakota oil production has increased by 42.6%, and oil production in the Peace Garden State has doubled since July of 2008, just a little more than two years ago.  North Dakota's rich oil fields now produce 6% of America's domestic crude oil production, up from less than 2% in 2006.

Partly because of its ongoing oil boom in the Bakken area, North Dakota continues to lead the nation with the lowest unemployment rate at 3.8% in October, almost 6 full percentage points below the nation's average 9.6% October rate. The oil boom has fueled an employment boom for oil workers in North Dakota—the number of oil-related jobs has grown from fewer than 4,000 at the beginning of 2005 to more than 9,000 in October of this year.

Through October of this year, North Dakota has already produced more oil (91 million barrels) than all of last year (79.7 million barrels), and is on a pace to produce about 112 million barrels in 2010, which would be twice as much as 2008 (63 million barrels) and almost three times as much as 2007 (45 million barrels).