Proven reserves in the United States rose for the fourth year in a row, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Proven Reserves Definition: “The estimated quantities of oil which geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under current economic and operating conditions.”
The reserves increased by 4.5 billion barrels according to an August 10 report by the EIA. The 15% increase brought America’s proven reserves to 33 billion. The increase is the highest reserve since 1976.
The increase in reserves is due mainly to increased exploration in tight oil plays across the country. The shale plays account for 7.3 (22% of the total reserve) billion in reserves. Texas oil plays recorded the largest reserve increase 3.0 billion barrels. North Dakota saw the second largest increase with 1.1 billion.
The EIA’s AEO2014 (Annual Energy Outlook 2014) projects that crude oil will rise from 6.5 million bpd in 2012 to 9.6 million bpd in 2020. The production level hasn’t been seen since the 1970’s. The EIA report also says that petroleum imports under a high oil and gas resource case projects net oil imports will decline to zero by around 2035. This is the first time this projection has been made in years. This projection predicts that we will be a net energy exporter by 2035.