EIA: shale developments boost U.S. natural gas reserves

U.S. proved reserves of natural gas increased by 10 percent or 34.8 Tcf in 2014 and reached a record high for the United States of 388.8 Tcf, according to an EIA report.

The reserves were added onshore in the Lower 48 states from ongoing exploration and development in several of the nation’s shale formations, particularly the Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the Eagle Ford Shale play in Texas, the Woodford Shale play in Oklahoma, and the Utica Shale play in Ohio.

In contrast to these 2014 gains in shale natural gas, there were declines in the Rocky Mountain natural gas reserves in 2014.

The U.S. total of natural gas discoveries was 50.5 Tcf in 2014, of which 93 percent were extensions to existing natural gas fields, EIA said.

New field discoveries and new reservoir discoveries in previously discovered fields were 0.7 Tcf and 2.7 Tcf, respectively.


EIA’s report estimates that the U.S. production of total natural gas in 2014 was 28.1 Tcf, an increase of 6 percent from 2013.

EIA’s official published estimate of marketed natural gas production was 27.3 Tcf in 2014, an increase of 7 percent from 2013.

Shale natural gas

Proved reserves of U.S. shale natural gas increased from 159.1 Tcf in 2013 to 199.7 Tcf in 2014, an increase of 40.6 Tcf, 25 percent higher than in 2013, EIA said.

The share of shale gas compared with total U.S. natural gas proved reserves increased from 45 percent in 2013 to 51 percent in 2014.

Estimated production of shale natural gas increased 18 percent—from 11.4 Tcf in 2013 to 13.4 Tcf in 2014.

Seven shale plays contained 90 percent of U.S. shale gas proved reserves at the end of 2014. The Marcellus Shale play remained the largest, and it added the most new shale gas reserves (22.1 Tcf) in 2014.

The second-largest shale gas play was the Barnett Shale, where proved reserves declined 6 percent in 2014, according to EIA.


LNG World News Staff; Image: EIA

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