WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2015 - U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves increased by 9 percent in 2014 to 39.9 billion barrels, and natural gas proved reserves increased by 10 percent to 389 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves report.

U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves reached the highest level since 1972, and natural gas proved reserves surpassed the previous year's record level.

Proved reserves are volumes of oil and natural gas that geologic and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions. Proved reserves shrink or grow as commodity prices and extraction costs change. EIA's estimates of proved reserves are based on an annual survey of domestic oil and natural gas well operators.

Sustained lower prices for crude oil and natural gas in 2015 are anticipated to reduce oil and natural gas proved reserves in EIA's next annual report (for year-end 2015). Lower prices have curtailed oil and natural gas drilling and have made recovery economics more challenging. Although resource estimates are not necessarily reduced by lower prices, the calculation of proved reserves is sensitive to price.


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