EIA: US natural gas reserves down on lower prices

Proved reserves of natural gas in the United States dropped 16.6% percent in 2015 as compared to the year before, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The natural gas reserves decreased by 64.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), declining from 388.8 Tcf in 2014 to 324.3 Tcf, the EIA said in a report on Wednesday.

At the same time, the average price of U.S. natural gas in 2015 dropped 42% compared to 2014. The average spot price of natural gas at the Louisiana Henry Hub declined from $4.55 per million Btu in 2014 to $2.62 per million Btu in 2015, the agency said.

“The significant reduction in prices, which resulted in a more challenging characterization of existing economic and operating conditions that are considered in the definition of proved reserves, led to downward revisions across a broad range of U.S. producers.”

The U.S. total of natural gas discoveries was at 34.7 Tcf in 2015, of which 95% were extensions to existing natural gas fields, the EIA noted in the report.

Shale gas

According to the EIA, proved reserves of U.S. natural gas from shale formations decreased from 199.7 Tcf in 2014 to 175.6 Tcf in 2015.

However, the share of natural gas from shale compared with total U.S. natural gas proved reserves increased from 51% in 2014 to 54% in 2015, the agency said.

Estimated production of natural gas from shale increased 13% from 13.4 Tcf in 2014 to 15.2 Tcf in 2015.

Pennsylvania had the highest level of natural gas proved reserves from shale in 2015 (53.5 Tcf), followed by Texas (42.6 Tcf), the agency said.

Seven shale plays contained 91% of U.S. shale gas proved reserves at the end of 2015.

“The Marcellus Shale play remained the play with the largest amount of natural gas proved reserves from shale, even though its total declined the most (11.8 Tcf, a 14% decline in proved reserves) in 2015. The second-largest shale gas play was the Eagle Ford, where proved reserves declined 17% in 2015.”

The U.S. started this year exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced from shale gas. Cheniere’s Sabine Pass liquefaction facility has since February shipped more than 40 cargoes of the fuel around the globe.

The U.S. is expected to become the world’s third-largest LNG supplier by 2020 with an export capacity of 60 million mt coming from five terminals located along the Gulf Coast.


LNG World News Staff

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